THE parish of Chipping Campden has welcomed a new vicar into its fold.

After a vacancy of nearly a year, Reverend Craig Bishop has now taken up the post at St James' Church, Campden, St Michael's Church, Broad Campden, and St Eadburgha's Church, Ebrington and in the autumn will have responsibility for more churches in the area.

He was inducted as Priest-in-Charge by the Bishop of Gloucester and the Archdeacon of Cheltenham at a special service on June 15 at St James' Church.

"I'm delighted to be part of the churches in Campden," he said. "It was a wonderful opportunity, we've always enjoyed the Cotswolds and feel very much at home.

"Campden and Ebrington is an exciting change. I was attracted to be here by the opportunity and the challenge of the job but also working with clergy colleagues."

Rev Bishop, who studied agriculture and economics before working as a primary school teacher in Cheltenham, has been a vicar for nine years and has now moved to Campden.

He was first a curate in Thornbury for three-and-a-half years before becoming a vicar in Coln St Aldwyns, near Fairford, where he looked after five churches.

The 45-year-old, who is married with three daughters who will all be attending St James' & Ebrington CofE Primary School in Campden, said he had been made very welcome.

"We've had a very warm welcome," he said. "We've been humbled by the hospitality. We've been delighted that is has been extended to the whole family."

Rev Bishop enjoys the outdoors and said he looks forward to meeting people when he is out walking or on his bike.

Meanwhile, nine people will be ordained as priests for the Church of England in and around Gloucestershire at Gloucester Cathedral on Saturday (July 5).

Among them will be Reverend Nat Charles, who covers Broadwell, Evenlode, Oddington, Adlestrop, Westcote with Icomb and Bledington benefice and Reverend John Pout , who covers Moreton, Batsford, Todenham, Lower Lemington, Longborough with Sezincote benefice.

And the following day, 12 people and will take the first step into ordained ministry when they will be ordained as deacons.

These include Celia Woodruff, who is a reader in Campden with Ebrington, and Michelle Porter-Babbage, who will curate of Bourton with Clapton and the Rissingtons.

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Michael Perham who will lead the ordination service at Gloucester Cathedral, said: “Twelve is what you might call a bumper crop. Isn’t it great that twelve men and women are ready to dedicate their lives to God as deacons in the Church and for the world."