"AMBITIOUS" changes to regular services at Keighley Shared Church are to be implemented from Sunday, September 7 onwards.

Church leaders have announced that the historic building's existing Anglican and Methodist congregations will begin coming together for a service each week at 9.15am on Sunday mornings.

Later at 10.45am there will be a family service with children's groups.

Most of the congregation attending this family service will have moved from St Mark's Church, in Utley, where two other regular Sunday services will continue.

The changes have been described as a "new and exciting phase". A spokesman for the shared church said: "The building has been used by Anglican and Methodist congregations for more than 30 years.

"But after a decline in attendances there was a real danger that the church might not be viable for much longer.

"Senior Anglican and Methodist leaders committed from the outset to keeping the building open as a place of regular worship."

Reverend Derek Walmsley, vicar of St Mark's, is due to be licensed as Anglican priest in charge at the shared church on September 18.

He said: "It's a bold and ambitions step, and it will mean change for everyone concerned."

Methodist minister Reverend Sandie Exley-Watts said: "We have a vision of Keighley Shared Church being a vibrant community, offering a variety of styles of worship, and continuing to serve our town in imaginative ways."