After being without a vicar for more than a year, Chesterfield’s beloved Crooked Spire church now has a new priest – the Reverend Patrick Coleman.
Rev Coleman, 56, takes over from Canon Michael Knight who retired from the Church of St Mary and All Saints in July 2013.
The new vicar, who has spent the last 12 years co-ordinating ministerial development and education for the clergy, and as a priest in multiple churches, said that although taking over at the Crooked Spire is a daunting task, he is excited and raring to go.
Rev Coleman added: “The most daunting aspect of the role here lies in the fact that the Crooked Spire is a place that is iconic for the town – in a real sense, it belongs to the people of the town, which you don’t see anywhere else.
“Where else would you find the picture of the parish church reproduced as a symbol everywhere – even on street signs and dustbins?
“So I’m going to be the custodian of of a place that is so special to a great many people not just in Chesterfield, but worldwide. Daunting, but am I excited? You bet I am!”
After being a priest for more than 31 years, Rev Coleman said he would like to develop the existing and impressive core of prayer at the Crooked Spire and make it into a powerhouse for the town.
Just 56, the man from the Monmouthshire Valleys in Wales started his career in the Roman Catholic Church, before moving on to the Anglican Church in 1996.
He worked as a history teacher and head of department in a Newport comprehensive school and has also taught and worked at an Anglican Chaplain in Varese near Milan, Italy.
For the last 12 years, Rev Coleman has worked in South Wales, co-ordinating ministerial development and education for the clergy, as well as being a priest in country parishes.
Speaking about his new town, he said: “I’m new to Chesterfield, although I took some care to spend some time here investigating before putting my name forward for the role at the Crooked Spire.
“It’s a lovely, friendly place. I love the market and there is an interesting mix of real shops along with the usual national chains.
“We can do great things here in a great place, all we need is some dreaming, some vision, and a good dose of determination, bring it on!”