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Revd Katharine Butterfield joined the East of Eden Mission Community as joint leader with Methodist minister Revd Les Wallace at a special licensing and commissioning service at Kirkoswald Parish Church on Monday 3rd September. The church was full, with friends from Katharine’s previous ministry in the North Westmorland Mission Community and representatives from across the East of Eden area combining the Methodist Circuit of Kirkoswald and Alston Moor Circuit (led by Rev Les Wallace) with the two Anglican Benefices of Kirkoswald, Renwick with Croglin, Lazonby and Great Salkeld(of which Rev Katharine is now Rector) and the Cross Fell Benefice (with Revd Canon Stephen Pye).
The service, conducted by Bishop James Newcome (Bishop of Carlisle), Revd Richard Teal (Chair of the Methodist Church Cumbria District), Revd Sarah Moore (President of the United Reformed Church in Cumbria) and Heather Watson (representing The Salvation Army in Cumbria) brought together the different partners in Cumbria’s ecumenical vision; working together to make God for All a reality across our communities. As always in our rural communities, the friendship was warm and welcoming and the refreshments and hospitality provided plentiful and generous.
Prior to her ordination in 2015, Katharine served her curacy in the North Westmorland Benefice, which consisted of eight rural parishes. There she led Appleby Filling Station, was involved with the ‘Listening Ear’ project and had pastoral responsibility for two churches.
Katharine initially attended The University of Aston in Birmingham where she graduated in Ophthalmic Optics. After practising as an optometrist in several cities around the country, she bought a small optical practice in her home town of Keswick, in 1999. Her husband, Stephen, previously a headteacher, subsequently joined the practice and qualified as an optometrist.
‘Mission Communities’ are gradually being established across Cumbria as partner churches come together to share resources, ministry and potential for outreach and social engagement. The churches and chapels of the East of Eden Mission Community have been working closely together for many years, so this next part of the journey signifies a long-term commitment to shared ministry and joint leadership.