A CAMPAIGNING vicar has been promoted to the high profile role of Archdeacon in the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

The Reverend Canon Beverley Mason will be responsible for the churches across the Richmond and Craven Diocese, which includes Skipton, Ilkley and Harrogate.

During her three years at All Saints Church in Bingley, she fought successfully for the removal of the old Bradford & Bingley headquarters, teaming up with Conservative MP Philip Davies to urge Sainsbury's into action, and also tackled traffic wardens outside her Old Main Street church.

The Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, said: "Beverley brings wide experience of both the church and wider world, and brings both passion for the good news of Jesus Christ and commitment to the growth of the church.

"She will bring important perspectives to the strategic direction of the diocese as well as pastoral encouragement to the parishes and people in her archdeaconry."

Miss Mason, a former London stockbroker, found her faith in Africa. Then, after working for Christian charities, she studied theology and trained for ordination. After a curacy in the Diocese of Rochester, she became vicar of St John’s, Norwood, in south London where she was also area dean.

Mr Davies said she would be "hugely missed," but that he was delighted to hear of Miss Mason's new role.

"It's very well deserved because she's absolutely fantastic and has done magnificent work for the church and its reputation in Bingley," he said.

Ward councillor David Heseltine (Con) added: "She has been very pro-active in the town and community, always doing her best and will be missed by many."

Miss Mason said breaking the news to parishioners on Sunday had been one of the hardest situations of her life.

"Bingley gave me the best possible introduction to Yorkshire and I'm not leaving it for another church, which is something I don't think I could have done.

"But the kind words I've had from people have been both strengthening and humbling," she said.

"It has been a privilege to live and work here. We have stirred the imagination, explored possibilities and creatively proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ.

"I am very much looking forward to working with Bishop James Bell, the Bishop of Ripon, and clergy and lay leaders in Richmond and Craven, meeting and getting to know parishes and playing my part in Bishop Nick’s shared vision to build a confident Christian presence in West Yorkshire and the Dales.

"My work will take me into breathtaking landscapes, which I relish!"

Miss Mason will be leaving All Saints after this year's Christmas celebrations.