The Pilgrim Fathers’ communities of Blyth and Scrooby with Ranskill welcomed Rev Jacqueline McKenna as their new priest-in-charge at a service in St Barnabas in Ranskill.
Rev McKenna, a mother of four, was licensed by the Rt Rev Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham.
Prior her ordination Rec McKenna was a foster carer for Nottinghamshire soc ial services and fostered a total of 54 children over a period of 13 years.
The children placed in the care of her family ranged in age from just five hours old to 18 years.
Rev McKenna said: “My own four children, Clair, Simon, Katrina and Sophie, were incredibly generous in sharing their parents during that time and I am very grateful to them.”
Rev McKenna rained for ordination on the East Midlands ministry training course at Nottingham University.
She continued: “My Curacy was served at All Saints in Huthwaite, which was my home church for more than 20 years and is still very dear to my heart.
“My first incumbency was as Priest-in-Charge of St Luke’s in Shireoaks with Rhodesia, commencing in 2005, which was a half-time post.”
Alongside parish ministry duties, she became part -time assistant chaplain at Bassetlaw Hospital.
In 2012, after seven years at St Luke’s, she was appointed lead chaplain and bereavement care manager at the hospital, which meant having to leave her post at Shireoaks and Rhodesia.”
After almost 12 years of hospital ministry, she retired from the NHS and is delighted to be returning to parish ministry.
She said: “This area has a rich Christian heritage, which has shaped and influenced life in our villages.
“The Pilgrim Fathers originated in Scrooby and in 2020, we will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of them setting sail for their new homeland in America.
“Plans are already well underway for huge celebration; these are exciting times to be embarking on a new ministry.
“My husband Eric and I look forward to this new adventure and to establishing new relationships whilst serving the communities of Blyth, Scrooby, Ranskill and Torworth.”
Bishop Williams commented: “‘It was a wonderful evening welcoming Jacqui and her husband Eric with the tremendous hospitality of these congregations
“There was a shared sense of mission across Blyth, Scrooby and Ranskill which was reflected in the service and which expresses the great warmth that is found in all the communities in which these churches serve.”