THE Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Michael Beasley, has licensed a new priest for the freshly created benefice of Wellington and West Buckland.

The Rev Colin Simpson was installed as priest-in-charge at an evening service held in St John the Baptist Church, Wellington, on Thursday (October 5).

Bishop Michael was assisted with the induction by the Archdeacon of Taunton, the Venerable Simon Hill.

Mr Simpson will have special responsibility for St Mary the Virgin Church, West Buckland, as well as the Wellington church, both of which are grade one listed buildings.

He moved from West Coker, near Yeovil, where he had been Rector of the Coker Ridge Benefice for the past seven years.

Both churches worked together to appoint Mr Simpson and arrange his installation service, as the benefice shares the same treasurer and has a joint safeguarding team, while members from West Buckland serve on St John’s parochial church council’s communications and worship working groups.

A spokesperson for the benefice said: “We are determined to work closely together as much as possible and keep a fair balance between village and town.”

The benefice includes St John’s Church of England Primary School, in Wellington, and West Buckland Primary school, which although not a Church establishment, works closely with the benefice.