THERE was a party atmosphere in Keighley town centre as a Festival of Life was staged.

An estimated 1,000-plus people attended Saturday’s event, organised by the town’s churches.

There was live music, a free barbecue, bouncy castle and other children’s activities, including face painting and crafts.

The festival was opened by MP John Grogan and town mayor Councillor Peter Corkindale, who both commented on the “friendly” atmosphere and spoke about the positive role that churches play in Keighley.

The Rev Mike Cansdale, of Keighley parish, outlined the vision behind the event.

He said: “We believe that God loves Keighley and as churches we are committed to serving this community.

“This was a great event full of hope, friendship and a practical demonstration of the love of God.”

And town chaplain, the Rev Dr Jonathan Pritchard, said the festival – which saw Church Green filled with marquees and attractions – had been a huge success.

“At a time like this when there are pressures which seek to divide our communities it is so important that we create space to bring people together,” he added.

“There was a lovely atmosphere as Keighley came out to celebrate in the sunshine.”

A large team of volunteers from different churches across Keighley ran the family event.

Tribute is paid by Henry Pettinger, of Keighley Churches Together.

He said: “There is a great spirit of unity amongst the churches and a common desire to be a blessing to this town.

“It was brilliant to be able to offer this welcome to everybody and we want to thank all the volunteers who made it possible.”