Project helps church bid for young vicars to settle in Blackpool

Volunteers have been decorating a house in Castlerigg Place
Volunteers have been decorating a house in Castlerigg Place
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Volunteers are offering a helping hand to ensure trainee vicars settle into their new home in Blackpool.

Residents have helped decorate a property on Mereside which will be used by three young people who will spend a year in the resort discovering if their future lies in being a church minister.

Pete Tomkinson

Pete Tomkinson

The Church of England’s Ministry Experience Scheme is focused on deprived urban areas and will continue for seven years.

Members of the Clifton Community Volunteers carried out the work at the house on Castlerigg Place which has been bought by the Blackburn Diocese.

Rev Linda Tomkinson, minister at the Freedom Church on Mereside, said; “Three young people will be moving into the property and will be in Blackpool for a year to try the ministry and find out if it is their vocation.

“They will be studying, meeting people and working with places such as the hospital and St George’s School.

We’re very excited about taking it over and really believe it has the potential to grow

“It is something we are doing as a diocese for the first time, and it is about encouraging young people to become priests.”

The young people will be based at the Freedom Church, St Peter’s Church in South Shore and St John’s Church in the town centre.

The decorating project marks the first anniversary since Clifton Community Volunteers group was launched by ward councillors Luke Taylor and Adrian Hutton.

They are now passing the running of the organisation over to Rev Tomkinson and her husband Peter.

Four-year-old Willow Garwood with mum Amanda Garwood

Four-year-old Willow Garwood with mum Amanda Garwood

Rev Tomkinson said: “We’re very excited about taking it over and really believe it has the potential to grow.”