THE fifth female vicar in Bolton Parish Church’s history was welcomed to the town in a special licensing service.

The Reverend Moira Slack, who has previously worked in churches in Heaton and Walmsley, was formally appointed lecturer and associate vicar by the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Rev Chris Edmondson on July 27.

Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Martin Donaghy, and Chan Parmer from Bolton Interfaith Council were among the congregation that greeted Mrs Slack at the 3pm service at Bolton Parish Church on Sunday.

She said she was excited to be returning to Bolton and is looking forward to becoming part of the community.

Mrs Slack, who is originally from London and was a curate at Christ Church, Heaton, before moving to Stretford, added: “It feels like coming home as I have been welcomed by so many people who I know from my previous time here.

“The most humbling part of my life is meeting people in difficult situations and it is a huge privilege to be welcomed so easily.

“Whatever big things there will be to do here, the important part really is to become part of the community and to be welcomed.”

Cllr Donaghy read an Irish blessing to Ms Slack, who was also welcomed by Mr Parmer, Bolton Wanderers chaplain Phil Mason and represent-atives from local schools.

The, Bishop of Bolton, said: “It seems a very appropriate appointment.

“We are delighted to welcome Moira back to Bolton.

“I am totally supportive of women clergy but the most important thing is that we want the right person and someone who is comfortable working in this role. I think we have that.”

Mrs Slack replaces Judie Horrocks, who has joined the Manchester Diocese to work closely with schools.

Cllr John Walsh, a church warden at Bolton Parish Church, said: “I have known of her for a while and sat in when she was interviewed.

“We look forward to a long and fruitful ministry.”