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New priest in charge of Worlingham with North Cove and Barnby enjoying life in new communities

PUBLISHED: 12:13 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13 21 September 2017

The licensing of the Rev Jane Penn, new priest in charge of Worlingham with Barnby and North Cove. Picture: Peter Hobbs

The licensing of the Rev Jane Penn, new priest in charge of Worlingham with Barnby and North Cove. Picture: Peter Hobbs

Peter Hobbs

The new priest in charge of three Waveney churches is looking forward to becoming ingrained in her new community.

The Rev Jane Penn was licensed and installed as priest in charge of Worlingham with North Cove and Barnby this month and has already been enjoying life in her new role.

Mrs Penn, a mother-of-four, takes on the position having spent three-and-a-half years as assistant priest at St Mary’s in Tadley, near Basingstoke in Hampshire.

However, she is far from unfamiliar with the area, having enjoyed a residential spell in Ditchingham while training for her priesthood.

She said: “Since I arrived here I have really enjoyed getting to know people in the area. I’ve been to visit the local primary schools and have seen there are very good links between them and the church, which is something I am really looking forward to building on.

“This is what I feel the role is all about - building links with the local community ,because that is where God is, in the love and relationships we have with each other.”

Mrs Penn, 65, began her training when she was in her 50s, in the Diocese of Ely, and was ordained in 2010.

Prior to her career in the church she had a number of different jobs, mostly involved in science, having worked as a school science teacher and for Anglian Water.

She added: “Most people my age are beginning retirement, but here I am beginning a whole new one and I could not be more please.

“We have lots of incredibly exciting things coming up at the churches, like the flower festival and harvest festival, so I have a great deal to look forward to.”

While she did not choose to work in the church immediately, it has always played a part in her life.

“I used to go to church when I was a child and knew all the stories, but didn’t necessarily follow it with conviction,” she added. “It was just the way I was brought up - it was something I always did.

“However, later in my life the faith came into my life a lot more.

“I was looking forward to a hedonistic older age, but in my late 40s I went away for some quiet time and everything had changed. I know I had to do something different, which led me to the church.”

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