a NEW minister has been welcomed at Chinley Independent Chapel.
The Reverend Foday Kamara took up the role in November and was officially ordained on Saturday January 5. It is his first pastorate, having completed his studies last summer.
Originally from Sierra Leone in Africa, he came to the UK 12 years ago, in order to pursue a college course in accountancy. Before moving to Chinley, he lived in Manchester.
Born into a Muslim family, Mr Kamara’s father, who was an Imam, died when he was just eight years old and he then went to live with his uncle.
His uncle was a Christian and Mr Kamara then converted to Christianity, following many different forms.
Mr Kamara, who is married with two children, said: “I got involved with this church a couple of years ago because the previous minister used to be a tutor on the course I was doing.
“He invited me to church a few times so I became familiar with the church and the relationship just built.
“I knew the church was looking for a minister and when I came here to a wedding, they were still looking. I’d just finished my course so started to explore it from that point.
“It is a lovely place. I feel it is very much a community and we are happy to be a part of it.”
He added: “The theme of my ministry is to encourage people to feel able to try things and not to be scared.”
And he is also keen to get young people involved: “The church is quite an elderly church but we have got a lot of young people. Sometimes the services don’t cater for them adequately, sometimes they are quite heavy for them. We do have a Sunday school but in terms of teaching them, we need to find a space for them.
“One thing I am really looking forward to is going into schools engaging with young people. My focus is very much on young people.
“We have got facilities here that we can expand on so it’s just a case of speaking to people and asking them what they want to do with the space.”