It was full steam ahead as the Bishop of Bradford rode the footplate of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway at the start of an intensive week living in and meeting the people of Keighley and the surrounding area.
Bishop Toby Howarth spent a week living in Keighley deanery , one of the five deaneries which make up the new Bradford Episcopal Area.
It is part of his plans to spend five weeks living in different parts of the region - and from April 19th until 23rd he stayed with local families visiting hospitals, businesses and church projects in the area, and having pastoral meetings with clergy and lay leaders.
Among the visits was the Airedale Springs factory at Howarth , Airedale Hospital and Timothy Taylors Brewery where he was shown around and received a bag of free ‘samples’ at the end!
He joined with a church prayer walk around Keighley town centre, meeting and chatting to bystanders and members of the public.
Mid-way through his visit, Bishop Toby commented, "Even just in these last couple of days, the welcome and hospitality I have received in the Keighley has been extraordinary. I've met with clergy, young people and congregations, visited Airdale Springs in their new, state-of-the-art factory, enjoyed a KWVR footplate ride and walked on the moors above Oxenhope with the new-born lambs. This is a deanery of contrast, opportunity and challenge. It's been a privilege to get to know people and learn some of the ways in which God is at work here."
(Below left) At Airedale Springs Bishop Toby is pictured being shown around the factory by the Company President Mr Michael Parkinson OBE.