A COUPLE who have made major contributions to village life are retiring this month to the Cumbrian coast.

Deacon Anne Taylor, 64, and her husband Eddie, 69, have lived in Bellingham since 2013 when Anne started her appointment with the Tynedale Methodist Circuit.

Anne covered Bellingham and Wark Methodist United Reformed Churches, plus other Methodist churches and United Reformed churches across Tynedale.

"It's been wonderful. I felt very much called to come and work with a small chapel in a rural setting and when this position became available I felt that's what was calling me to come to a particular area," she said.

Hexham Courant: Eddie at work in BellinghamEddie at work in Bellingham (Image: Supplied)

"At the time, we were living in Birtley in the Chester-le-Street Circuit. I worked for five years there and then before we moved, I married my husband Eddie and we came to Bellingham."

The pair married in December 2012.

Eddie worked at Bellingham Parish Council since 2015, helping to keep the village tidy and retired at the end of July.

"I was quite moved because the Parish Council gave me the honourary Freedom of the Village when I retired. Prior to that, I worked for the North East Ambulance Service for 34 years, I was a paramedic."

Eddie said he joined the ambulance service in County Durham in 1975 and worked in various stations until he retired from rapid response in 2008.

The pair are moving to Kells in Whitehaven at the end of August.

Eddie added: "We've bought a house over there. We saw the view across to the Isle of Man and we thought it was where we wanted to be.

"All the churches from the circuit have been very kind. We've had lots of leaving dos at each chapel so we've been really moved."

Anne said: "We were overwhelmed by the kindness and love and generosity of people in the area, it's been lovely."

"I would like to thank the church and community for all the help and support they've given us in the ten years we've been here. It was sad to leave, but we're looking forward to the next chapter of our lives."