The congregation at St Lawrence’s Church in Long Buckby this week welcomed their new vicar to the village.
The Rev Graham Collingridge, 55, said engaging with children and families from the four churches of Long Buckby, Watford, West Haddon and Winwick will be important to him in his new role.
He said: “I spent four years as a curate in Southampton then felt called by G0d to look at rural ministry.
“I am very excited about this move to Long Buckby as it really is a lovely area.”
He said: “I think a big issue that the church faces at the moment is that attendance and belief seems to be in decline so I want to give people a fresh glimpse and encourage them to trust in God.
“I would like to spend some time engaging with children and families and experimenting with new ways of being a church while also respecting its traditions.”
Rev Collingridge brings with him 25 years of experience as a social worker, something he left to spend time in the ministry. He said: “I was on a retreat – a quiet time of prayer – and out of the blue I felt that God was calling me to give up my current life. Since then it has been absolutely wonderful.”
Rev Collingridge held his first service on Tuesday saying he felt welcomed by membered from across all four churches.