A GROUP of churches has appointed a new official to help them make better use of their buildings.

Durham North Team Ministry, part of the Anglican Church’s Durham Diocese, has recruited Pam Barmby as its new Breathing Space project officer.

The Breathing Space scheme seeks to help churches and communities make fuller use of church buildings and their grounds to promote health and wellbeing.

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Mrs Barmby was formally commissioned by the Right Reverend Mark Bryant, the Bishop of Jarrow, in a service at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Witton Gilbert, County Durham, on Sunday evening (January 13).

The married mother-of-two from nearby Bearpark said: “I am very excited to be working for the Breathing Space project.

“I am inspired by the vision of combining emotional health and wellbeing with environmental and spiritual activities.

“I look forward to welcoming many different groups and individuals into this beautiful church and honouring such a special place.”

Mrs Barmby has been appointed part-time for two years, funded by the Diocese, County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trust, Christ’s Hospital in Sherburn and The Seedbed Trust.

During his visit, Bishop Bryant also dedicated a new porch extension, toilet and office at the church.