Several Isle of Wight villages have a new priest-in-charge.

Having had no resident priest for nearly three years, there was an evening of celebrations recently at Niton Parish Church when the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Right Reverend Jonathan Frost, licensed the Reverend Rob Marsh as priest-in-charge of the parishes of Chale, Niton, St Lawrence and Whitwell.

The evening began with a celebratory service conducted by the Bishop, with the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, the Venerable Steve Daughtery.

In attendance were the Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight Susie Sheldon, High Sheriff Dawn Haig-Thomas, chair of the Isle of Wight Council Claire Critchison and leaders and members of the parish councils.

A large congregation included members from Rob’s previous parishes in Leicestershire.

The evening finished with a drinks and a buffet, enjoyed by more than 100 people.

On commencing his new ministry, Rob said: ”I’m really looking forward to living on the south coast of the Island with my wife Jill, looking after and working together with these four friendly parishes, meeting and engaging with the community around and, if time allows, pursuing my hobbies of photography and bird watching.”