New pastor welcomed at Harpenden church

A CHURCH founded in Harpenden in 1953 has welcomed its first full-time pastor in nearly 60 years.

Crabtree Church in Crabtree Lane is looking forward to spiritual growth under the leadership of Reverend Dr Bernard Cartledge who has had many years in the ministry, including in South Africa, and until last month was at the Mayfield Community Church in Harrogate.

At an induction service on Saturday, October 2, the new pastor met church members, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Peter Lilley, and Harpenden mayor, Daniel Chichester-Miles.

A spokesman said that while Crabtree Church had not had a full-time pastor since it began about six decades ago, it had “thrived on the teaching of church members and visiting ministers.”

However a decision to have a full-time pastor began taking shape in 2008, to help the church become more involved with the community.

More than 70 applications were received for the position, and close to 100 per cent of the church membership voted to offer Bernard the job.

The spokesman said that members were excited about the new era for Crabtree Church and looking forward to serving God and the community more effectively.

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“We are confident that his leadership will herald an exciting time as we seek to reach out to the community.”

Leaders of other Harpenden churches, Major Stephen Poxon of the Salvation Army, the president of Churches Together in Harrogate and Harpenden also attended the induction service.