A FORMER chaplain at RAF Brize Norton has been appointed as the new minister for the Methodist churches in Witney and Minster Lovell.

The Rev Melanie Reed is responsible for the High Street Methodist Church, Davenport Road Methodist Church and Newland Church, as well as Minster Lovell Methodist Church.

Before moving to West Oxfordshire she served as station chaplain at the RAF college at Cranwell in Lincolnshire and RAF Honington in Suffolk, where she was the first female padre to the RAF Regiment.

She was the deputy senior chaplain at RAF Brize Norton until erlier this year.

Prior to her RAF service Mrs Reed was the minister of three churches in Bath.

Mrs Reed, who lives at Madley Park, is married to Paul and has three children, Crystal, 27, who lives in London, opera singer Rebecca, 23, and Toby, 17, who is a sixth-former at Henry Box School in Witney.

Her appointment at the start of the month had added significance for the High Street Methodist Church.

The church’s Crush Hall, coffee bar and ancillary rooms were rebuilt almost 20 years ago, and the worship area was completely refurbished.

The cornerstone for the new building was laid on October 1, 1994, and it was exactly 20 years to the day that Mrs Reed took up her appointment as the church’s minister.