A GROUNDBREAKING partnership between two religious denominations has been inaugurated in North Yorkshire.

The agreement between the Ripon and Leeds Anglican Diocese, which covers a large part of the region, and the Leeds Methodist District will mean more sharing of clergy and services and both churches working together to support their “ministry and mission”.

The Covenant Area Partnership is the first of its kind in the UK and will see greater consultation and co-operation between 85 Anglican parishes and 65 Methodist churches.

The agreement was signed at a celebration at Trinity Methodist Church, in Harrogate, on Saturday.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Rev John Packer, said: “This marks an important step for the diocese and the Leeds Methodist Church and will encourage us to strive for closer connection with other churches.”