Two new faces enjoy a Starbeck welcome

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It is all change for Starbeck’s churches this month, as the community welcomes a new minister to its Methodist Church, and a new vicar to St Andrew’s Church.

The Rev Philip Carman and Probationer Minister Ann Fox, have both only been living in Starbeck for the last four weeks, but they already feel “extremely welcome”.

Philip, 36, who has been an Associate Minister in the Diocese of York for the last six years, will lead his first service at St Andrew’s Church tomorrow.

He said: “One of the things that attracted me to Starbeck is just how much the life of the church is connected to the life of the community. There is a real sense of community pride here, and I am really excited to start, I’m definitely raring to go.

“When I learned that the Rev Francis was retiring, I just couldn’t ignore it, it felt right to apply for the job, I’ve always known that St Andrew’s is a great church to be a part of, and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about.

“The church is right on the high street and so central, I am really looking forward to serving and blessing the community. I am mainly excited to do my first service, but I guess I might feel a little bit nervous on the day.”

Ann, 52, who has moved from Keighley to take up her new post, is an accredited preacher and is working towards a BA in Theology from the Queen’s Foundation.

She said: “I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I already feel like I belong here. Everybody’s been very friendly and helpful. One of the first things I noticed is how Starbeck is very community spirited. One day I was waiting at the bus stop and a lady said to me straight away, ‘are you the new minister?’ She was very friendly.

“I am very happy to be helping the church in its mission to serve the community. In my first few weeks I have been mainly getting to know people and their gifts. It is important for the church to be involved in the life of the village and to be there for people from all parts of life.

“I have grown up in church, I have always been involved, and I just felt a call to come here and take up the post.”