Cousins from opposite ends of the world team up for church service

Wharfedale Observer: Distant cousins re-united - Matt Burland and John Burland at Otley Methodist Church. Distant cousins re-united - Matt Burland and John Burland at Otley Methodist Church.

Two cousins from opposite ends of the globe teamed up for a recent church service in Otley.

Local preacher Matt Burland, from Cookridge, joined Australian Christian musician and worship leader John Burland for the Sunday morning event at Otley Methodist Church.

The men are half third cousins, once removed, as John’s great-great-great grandfather - who emigrated to Australia as a mining engineer in the 19th Century - was the half brother of Matt’s great-great-great grandfather, from Horsforth.

At the service John spoke about his Christian work and led the congregation in two new songs, including Walking in Faith, the title song of his new CD.

He also performed Firm in the Faith as a solo number during a reflective part of the service.

Otley was the second venue of John’s 17 day, eight venue summer tour of the UK.

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