DIGNITARIES including the Rt Rev'd Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester and Graham Brady, MP, attended the welcome service for St. Martin’s new priest.

The newcomer to the Ashton on Mersey church, the Rev Iain Mossley, said: “Most of all I enjoyed meeting the Ashton community who came despite the snow.”

Father Iain, aged 40, trained at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where he played the organ. After curacies at Ribbleton and Blackpool, he became vicar of St Matthew’s, Burnley.

Five years later, he joined the Parish of St James, Leyland, where he stayed for more than four years.

That church repaid a debt of £120,000 through fundraising events including Cinderella, a panto in which Father Iain was a good ugly sister and Cinders was bad.

It even appeared on Granada Reports.

“We gave three performances and raised £1,000,” he said.

He was chairman of Governors at a church school and governor at a community school.

Father Iain and his wife Fiona, aged 41, have three children – Benedict, aged 10, Tabatha, eight, and six-year-old Edward.

“I like kids and I’m going to include children at St. Martin’s,” he said.

“St Martin’s has a high church tradition which doesn’t just mean traditional hymns and music. Modern hymns can fit in, too. It’s more about how we present our worship.

“I never change anything without explaining why. First of all I want to get to know people.”

Father Iain loves musical theatre and cooking. He enjoys Startreck which he used in his first sermon on January 20.