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Penny King

There is a great sense of community in and around Manchester – there’s always a friendly face, always someone happy to lend a hand or make a ‘brew’ and a strong sense of social and community responsibility.

I grew up in Hertfordshire, studied in Canterbury then moved to Salford in 2007 for a ten-month placement exploring my vocation to the priesthood.

Having been wholeheartedly captivated by the North West that ten months has turned into seven years, so far… During that time I’ve been adopted by the Diocese of Manchester and went on to train for the priesthood at the “college like no other”, The College of the Resurrection, Mirfield. I am now serving my curacy in the Parish of St Elisabeth, Reddish whose skyline of ‘England’s dark, satanic mills’ bears witness to the fascinating industrial history of Manchester and the North of England.

I can’t deny that the move north of Watford Gap was a bit of a culture shock – it is a few degrees colder – but I love the vibrancy, diversity and friendliness of Manchester and am grateful for how this has shaped and formed my ministry so far.

There is a great sense of community in and around Manchester – there’s always a friendly face, always someone happy to lend a hand or make a ‘brew’ and a strong sense of social and community responsibility.

The Church is privileged to work closely with and engage communities in dynamic, creative and imaginative ways alongside traditional worship and pastoral ministry. In Reddish for example, re:dish a developing local community co-operative between churches and community groups and supported by the Diocese of Manchester runs a foodbank, youth activities, befriending for the vulnerable and elderly and much more.

Manchester is a meeting place for a huge variety of people across ages, cultures, faiths, backgrounds and nationalities; is bustling and multicultural; and packed with activity and opportunity from shops, restaurants, bars and clubs to theatres, art galleries and museums.

Excellent transport links connect the area with the world – bus, tram, train, plane, boat and cycle networks, plus there is quick and easy access to some of the most stunningly beautiful parts of Great Britain – the Lake District, the Peak District and the Yorkshire Moors to name just a few.

While I’m not entirely convinced that one is nearer to God in the North as I’m often told, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be serving here and looking forward to all that lies ahead!

Diocese of Blackburn Diocese of Carlisle Diocese of Chester Diocese of Sodor and Man Diocese of Liverpool Diocese of Manchester