Ed’s flock spreads to pastures new

Rothbury's new URC Minister Rev Ed Butlin with Rev Rowena Francis, Moderator of the Northern Synod and church secretary George Nixon.
Rothbury's new URC Minister Rev Ed Butlin with Rev Rowena Francis, Moderator of the Northern Synod and church secretary George Nixon.
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A church minister has expanded his congregation after taking charge of the Coquet Valley.

Rev Ed Butlin was greeted to his new post as minister of Rothbury United Reformed Church at a packed induction, which was attended by clergy from throughout upper Coquetdale.

He already serves in Felton – where he lives with wife Julia and sons Joseph and William – as well as Glanton and Longframlington, and is actively involved with youth work in the area.

As part of his Rothbury role, Rev Butlin will also become part of Upper Coquetdale Churches Together, a group which was formed in 2004 when 11 congregations from four different denominations in the valley signed a covenant to work together.

“We’ve been in north Northumberland for nine years, moving up here in 2003 when I was asked to serve Felton, Longframlington and Glanton,” said Rev Butlin. “When Rev Pamela Ward retired as minister of Rothbury, I was invited to take that on as well.

“We’ve very much enjoyed being part of this community and being asked to be minister for Rothbury is a good opportunity to stay in the area a little longer. I’m very fortunate to have such a good working relationship with other clergy in the area, particularly Rev Simon White, vicar of St Michael and All Angels in Felton.

“We help each other with our respective youth programmes and events – Club Ichthus, which we started in Felton and the Staying Alive diocesan event in Seahouses.

“Everyone has been very welcoming in Rothbury and it is lovely to be able to serve and worship with them.”

Rev Butlin’s induction was attended by Rev Rowena Francis, moderator of the Northern Synod, and George Nixon, church secretary, as well as a host of wellwishers.

“There was some concern that it would be standing room only, but we managed to squeeze everyone in,” he added. “We also had a lovely tea at the Jubilee Hall afterwards.”

Rev White said: “Ed’s a man of passion, he’s young he loves working with people. He’s been a great colleague over the years and I’m sure he will be warmly welcomed in Coquetdale. He’s just the man for the job.”