'Inspiring' curate is killed in smash

A LOCAL curate was killed and a young woman from Ripon suffered multiple injuries in a car smash near Boroughbridge on Sunday.

The Rev Jill Newham, curate for Whixley and Green Hammerton, died after her blue VW Golf was involved in a collision with a blue Rover Metro driven by Samantha Brown, of Moorside Dale.

The accident happened on the B6265 Boroughbridge to Green Hammerton road near the Ouseburn junction at about 2.50pm.

Miss Brown was receiving treatment for her injuries in Harrogate District Hospital this week. Three other local young women who were travelling in the car with her suffered minor injuries in the crash, in which fire officers had to use cutting equipment to release some of those trapped in the wreckage.

This week the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer, expressed his deep sadness at the death of Mrs Newham, who moved to the area last year.

"Jill came to the area from Suffolk last year and yet, in that short time, she has inspired, encouraged and endeared herself both to members of the congregations at Whixley and Green Hammerton and to the wider community in which she served as a priest," he said.

"Jill had a particular quality of pastoral care and listening which was greatly valued and she will be sadly missed. I wish to extend our deepest condolences to her family and assure them of our prayers."

Mrs Newham, a widow who was 66, leaves two sons, one of whom, Simon Newham, is himself an ordained priest in the Chichester Diocese.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has any information is asked to contact police on 01423 505541.