A KNUTSFORD minister is leaving the town after 14 years to spread his church’s message across the country.

The Rev Paul Wilson, of Knutsford Methodist Church in Princess Street, is taking up a position with Methodist Evangelicals Together in St Helens.

His new role will involve helping churches all over the UK to connect with their communities.

In September alone he will be visiting Cornwall, London, Kettering, Chesham and Norwich.

Paul moved to Knutsford in 1998 with his wife Karen and three children, Tim, 25, Matt, 23, and Becki, 20.

In that time, the 53-year-old has seen the church through a refurbishment project and the creation of a community centre in 2006.

“It will be very sad to leave it all behind,” said Paul.

“Knutsford has been a part of our lives.”

The father-of-three has been heavily involved in the community during his ministry as a governor of the high school and chaplain for the Royal British Legion.

He was involved with the Scouts and Guides and conducted services for elderly people at Ash Court, Sharston House, Abbeyfield, Beechwood and Oakwood.

Paul was also instrumental in forming the senior citizens’ luncheon club at the Methodist Church.

He added: “Knutsford Methodist Church has always been welcoming and I’ve served the community beyond the church as well as within the church.

“It’s been a privilege to accomodate people at various stages of their life from baptism to marriage and even funerals.

“I’ve also worked closely with members of the town council and the mayors.”

But Paul’s highlight came this year when a BBC Radio 4 service at the church reached 1.7million people.

He said: “We received letters and emails from people all over the world. It was a real pleasure for the church to show the depth of talent it has.”

There will be a chance to say a final farewell to Paul at a special service at Knutsford Methodist Church on Sunday, Jiuly 22 at 7pm.

All are welcome when other members of the Methodist circuit in the Knutsford area and beyond say their goodbyes.

The Rev Rob Cotton, together with his wife Carol, is moving to Knutsford during the summer and will be commissioned as the new minister for Knutsford Methodist Church at the beginning of September.