A CLECKHEATON man has been ordained a bishop with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Stephen Beckwith, 36, was ordained as the new bishop of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Dudley Hill near East Bierley.
Mr Beckwith, of Whitechapel Road, Cleckheaton, is married to Clare.
The couple have four children, Jacob, seven; Lucy, five; Maisy, two, and baby daughter Scarlett, born in October.
He was born and raised in West Yorkshire and has been actively involved with the church for many years.
He has taken on a number of leadership positions in the church since he graduated from the University of Hull, where he was awarded a BSc in aquatic biology.
He will continue working full time as a commercial manager for BT while working in his post as lay minister.
He said: “Our church is largely run by ordinary men and women with strong faith who are devoted to serving our communities.
“Hopefully I’ll be a help and support to individuals and families who are facing life’s ups and downs just as we all do.”
The church has 240 members from Cleckheaton and south Bradford.
Mr Beckwith’s duties include overseeing education programmes, youth activities, budgeting for the church and money management counselling.
He will also take responsibility for the church building and grounds.
He added: “It’s a large remit and shows God’s trust in me to do a reasonable job!
“I’m looking forward to this new challenge and hope above all to strengthen the families in our area.”
Mr Beckwith will be assisted by two counsellors; former Bradford North MP Terry Rooney and school janitor Jonathan Kite.
The church meets at 10am every Sunday at the church building on Toftshaw Lane near East Bierley.
Young people aged from 12 to 18 meet for activities at 7pm on Tuesdays at the chapel.