THE South Lakes Methodist circuit in Cumbria welcomed a new Deacon to its churches at a service in Ambleside on September 3.

Deacon Maggie Patchett was formally welcomed in a service led by District Chairman Rev Richard Teal and circuit Superintendent Rev Graham Ransom.

Her appointment in the South Lakes circuit will see her taking on a new initiative for the churches, in developing a ministry to tourism, serving the employees, employers and customers of an industry that is central to life in the Lakes.

Maggie will be based in Windermere and her work will cover the Methodist churches in Windermere, Ambleside and Hawkshead.

Maggie has moved to the area from West Yorkshire, having spent three years working in rural churches in the areas around Skipton, Grassington, Settle and Airedale.

She has previously spent time overseas on Methodist mission work as far away as Belize and Costa Rica.

The 150-strong congregation at Sunday’s service included representatives from all of Maggie’s previous appointments, as well as her family, and members of many local churches.

Following the service there was a time of fellowship in which Maggie was welcomed more informally with tea, coffee and cake.