New vicar turned to the Church after illness

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A FORMER cleaner who became a Christian after surviving serious illness is to become the new vicar at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Hucknall.

THE REV JO STEPHENS (pictured) will be licensed at the church on Ruffs Drive in February.

She will take on the position permanently after the departure of the Rev Daniel Njuguna, who left earlier this year.

Mrs Stephens (42) didn’t turn to religion until the age of 28 when she was hospitalised with pneumonia after the birth of her son, George, who is now 14..

“It was a life-or-death situation that made me re-evaluate certain things,” said Mrs Stephens, who was born and bred in Hampshire.

Looking forward to arriving in Hucknall, she said: “I am excited about it. The church feels like a very good fit.”

Mrs Stephens studied for her ministry at St John’s College in Nottingham. She was ordained in 2008. The first church she took charge of was St Michael’s in Bramcote.

She is currently assistant curate in Attenborough and Toton in Nottinghamshire. Mrs Stephens is married to Kelvin and has a 13-year-old daughter, Ellie.

The Rev Peter Jones is the current interim vicar at St Peter and St Paul’s. He will move on to become associate priest in the Nottingham North Deanery with particular responsibilities for the parishes of Holy Trinity in Kimberley and St Patrick’s at Nuthall — DISPIC NHUD11-3414-1