A WOMAN priest who compared the Church of England to an abusive husband has been appointed vicar of a North-East parish.

The Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes will become Vicar of Belmont and Pittington, near Durham City.

In a blog post last month, the General Synod member wrote: "The question for women priests today is: do we stay with this abusive institution?

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"Or do we flee to the nearest refuge... leaving home, family, community and our dreams behind?"

Dr Threlfall-Holmes, currently interim principal of Durham University’s Ustinov College, said: "I am really excited about working with so many talented and able people.

"I bring energy and enthusiasm to the job and am looking forward to it."

She will be licensed in a service at St Mary Magdalene Church, Belmont, on Sunday, September 16, at 4pm.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, said he was delighted at the appointment.

"I value her drive and enthusiasm for ministry," he added.

Dr Threlfall-Holmes succeeds Rev Canon Di Johnson, who stepped down as Vicar of the United Benefice of Belmont and Pittington, which includes St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Belmont, and the 900-year-old St Laurence’s Church, Pittington, in January.