THE Rev Bryan Kerr has been licensed and installed as priest-in-charge of Milnthorpe and Heversham, with the Benefice of Levens.

The event took place at St Thomas's Parish Church where the bells were ringing in celebration.

The service was led by the new Rural Dean, the Rev Anne Pettifor and the licensing was carried out by the Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, The Venerable Vernon Ross.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Rev James Newcome asked Mr. Kerr the relevant legal questions and prayed a blessing upon him.

Bishop James then preached a sermon on the story of the lost son from Luke 15. He talked about God’s grace and the need to receive, reflect and recognise it.

Mr Kerr was welcomed by South Lakes MP Tim Farron and representatives of county, district and parish Councils. Ministers of various denominations also welcomed him, and he was presented with elements of his ministry by local lay people.

The hymns were accompanied by the organist Jim Robson. Two of these had an Irish flavour, one being sung to the tune of Londonderry Air and the other being St Patrick’s Breastplate. These were appropriate as Bryan comes from Northern Ireland.