In the busy period ahead of Christmas you may have missed the news that Huddersfield Parish Church has a new Vicar.
Revd Canon Rachel Firth, currently at Lindley parish and Area Dean of Huddersfield, is to take on the high profile role.
Born and raised in West Yorkshire, Rachel grew up in Mirfield and was educated in Wakefield.
She will continue in her role as Area Dean for Huddersfield and said she relished the joys and challenges ahead:
“I’m delighted to be appointed as the next vicar of St Peter’s,” Revd Rachel said.
“After a couple of years working abroad in my late teens I came back to Huddersfield to do my first degree. That was based in the St Peter’s building just across the park from the Parish Church.
“I don’t know if you’d call that a sign of things to come, but I loved my time as a student here and have always loved the town,” said Revd Rachel, who is married to Simon and has three children.
“I’m looking forward to building relationships across the town with all sectors and sharing in the vision of how this wonderful historic and living church can serve the town and the area.
“We have a calling, rooted in the love of Jesus, to love our neighbours and serve our communities.
“Huddersfield is a town with a wonderful friendly spirit.
“We have so much going for us in our schools and businesses, public services and higher education – and people living here and moving here who want to be part of lively, engaged and fair communities.
“I think we can all see though that there’s lots to do in our town centre to build the thriving, buzzing and compassionate place we all want it to be.
“The Church and our partners of all denominations and faiths have a role to play and opportunities to grasp – to serve and enable our communities, to embrace and celebrate our diversity.
“I will of course be sad to leave lovely Lindley (as we all call it!).”
Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, welcomed the appointment:
“Rachel has her roots in the Huddersfield area and has done a fantastic job as vicar of Lindley over the last eight years, building up the church and engaging especially with schools, children and young people.
“In addition, she has earned the support and respect of her colleagues as Area Dean of Huddersfield, helping to care for and support the other clergy in and around the town.
“Over the last year, Rachel has acted as Bishop’s Community Engagement Officer for Kirklees, working on my behalf with Kirklees Council and voluntary sector groups, and demonstrating her commitment to the church’s role in serving the wider community.
“Rachel will bring energy, creativity and commitment to the role of vicar at St Peter’s Parish Church at a time of major change and development in the town centre.
“Her appointment is excellent news for the Church and for the community in Huddersfield,” Bishop Jonathan said.
Rachel will be installed as Vicar of St. Peter’s on the 3rd of April 2020 and details of the service will be shared in due course.