Reverend Mark Hayes was ordained and inducted as minister at Thaxted United Reformed Church on Saturday.

The service was conducted by Reverend Lythan Nevard, moderator of Eastern Synod, and the preacher was Reverend Dr Rick Mearkle from Westminster College in Cambridge.

More than 100 church members, friends and family - including representatives from other local churches - gathered to support Mark in honour of the occasion.

Mark lives in Saffron Walden with his wife Janet, and has been a lay preacher for over 40 years.

He said: "I have been very well supported in my training by everybody at Westminster College, and members at Thaxted URC have made Janet and myself very welcome.

"We look forward to continuing our work together."

Thaxted United Reformed Church is described on its website as "a friendly congregation who through fellowship and service seek to proclaim the good news of God's Kingdom".