A NEW vicar will officially take over the reins at five village churches tonight (Thursday).
Stephanie Cross, known as Stevie, will be instituted into her post by the Bishop of Peterborough, Bishop Donald Allister, during a service at the Holy Cross Church in Byfield.
Miss Cross, 58, will be the rector for the combined benefice of Aston le Walls, Boddington, Byfield, Eydon, and Woodford Halse.
She said: “I’m very much looking forward to beginning work in the five parishes.
“I moved in to the rectory in Byfield last week and everyone in the village has been so helpful and friendly.
“It’s a beautiful part of the world. It’s the sort of place I was looking for and I was lucky enough to have an interview and be offered the position.”
Miss Cross was previously a vicar at Stanton St John in Oxfordshire, and before becoming a rector she worked as a mechanical engineer for an aerospace company.
Her first Sunday service will be in Boddington this weekend.
She added: “During my time at Stanton St John I looked after four churches and I was looking for somewhere else with several churches, so this is perfect for me.
“I felt it was time to move, God was calling me to move and this is a beautiful place to be. I’ve been ordained for 10 years and before that I was a mechanical engineer, so it’s been a big change of career.
“My other interests are reading and gardening. I have a lovely garden here in Byfield but it needs a lot of work so I’m looking forward to that.
“I also enjoy walking and am looking forward to getting to know the area with some long walks.”