IT is a coincidence that the Rev Penny Warner has been inducted as the new vicar at St George’s, Stalybridge.For her husband David is the vicar in the neighbouring parish at St George’s, but in Mossley, meaning there will be “friendly competition”.
“And just to add another touch, David and I were married last year on St George’s Day,” explained Penny.
Of her new role, which is ‘half-time’, Penny, 33, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as vicar here and have already heard many good things about all that’s going on, as well as about the challenges and opportunities for the future.
“It’s a new year and a new start for us all, and an exciting time in the life and ministry of St George’s and the parish. I’m very much looking forward to getting to know people and places.
“St George’s has a good tradition of music and worship and a lot to build on.
“When you look what has been done recently repairing the church roof, it has been phenomenal.
“There is still work to be done with the chancel and church tower rooves and also the organ and there is a team working on those projects.”
St George’s received a £233,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to re-roof the main part of the building.
Penny originates from Hertfordshire and was interested in a career in the ministry since her teens.
She read theology and religious studies at Canterbury before heading to Manchester to become a parish assistant at St Chrysostom’s and chaplaincy assistant at Salford University.
From Manchester, Penny moved to the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, West Yorkshire, to continue formation for the priesthood and study for an MA.
Penny was ordained deacon in 2013, priest in 2014 and served her curacy at St Elisabeth’s, Reddish, a beautiful Grade I listed Alfred Waterhouse building, which often features on ITV on Christmas Eve.
She moved to a very different kind of ministry in semi-rural Newchurch, Rossendale, where she enjoyed being part of a supportive community and working alongside others in outreach and pastoral care in the parish, and in its creative churchyard heritage project.
Penny was inducted at St George’s by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Mark Davies.
She is also looking forward to collaborative working between the neighbouring parish of St George’s, Mossley, while a new project at her church a dementia café which has just opened.
Penny and David have a three-year-old border terrier Buddy and her other interests are walking, reading and poetry while she also plays the clarinet and oboe.