The Rev Linda Cronin, recently appointed Vicar of Glenavy, is looking forward to seeing what God opens up for her as she moves from Telford in Shropshire to rural Co Antrim.
Linda has been Vicar of Sutton Hill and Woodside Parishes in the Diocese of Hereford, England, for the past five years.
She had never been in Northern Ireland before attending the interview for the vacancy in Glenavy, which includes the churches of St Aidan in Glenavy, St John in Crumlin and St Andrew, Tunny.
The 58-year-old is no stranger to big moves, however. She grew up in Newton Abbot in Devon, and married Steve after moving to London where she remained before ordination in the Diocese of Carlisle in the north of the country.
The couple has four children – Tim, Hannah, Dan and Rachel; daughters-in-law Caz and Becky; and two grandchildren, Izzy and Judah.
Before ordination in 2008, Linda had been a youth and children’s worker in a church in Brentford, West London; and was later finance officer in a Roman Catholic sixth form college in Ladbrooke Grove.
She was ordained in Barrow-on-Furness, where she was curate and then vicar until 2013; she was a chaplain at an Anglican and Catholic joint High School, and moved to Telford five years ago.
Steve works as a Network Manager/Educational Technologist in a special school, and is also a reader in the Church of England.
Linda said she applied for the job in Glenavy because she had ‘a sense of God wanting me to do something different.’
“Each of the three churches in the parish has its own identity and the context of each is different,” she said. “We live on the edge of the Ironbridge, surrounded by the Shropshire countryside, but my parish is based in two housing estates, so is very urban.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of doing something completely different and seeing what God opens up.”
No date has been set for the service of institution in Glenavy.