LEDBURY'S Rector, the Revd Paul Dunthorne is to leave the town in the early autumn, for a new position and a fresh challenge in Winchester.

Mr Dunthorne has been Ledbury's rector for almost nine years.

But from early September, he will be Mission and Training Adviser for the Diocese of Winchester.

In a statement on the parish website, he said: "It will be a wrench for us to leave St Michael’s and Ledbury after some very good years here.

"Ledbury has been the place where our family have grown up and gone off to college; it is home, and we have many friends here in this beautiful town and area.

"However, God has now called us to a new ministry in a new place, and we believe therefore that this move is right and will bring blessing both to us and to Ledbury, as someone else comes to serve as Rector. We leave with so many precious memories, that we will always hold dear.’

The process of finding Ledbury's next rector will start in the autumn.