Born in Leyland Lancashire, the Reverend Paul Hunter joined St Peter's in 2019
after being involved in missionary work in Tanzania for several years.
The long and winding road
It’s been a long road to Inskip and Copp, with a number of twists and turns along the way, but I am very glad to have finally arrived. I’ve only come from Leyland, though it wasn’t the traffic in Preston that delayed me! I had a detour through East Africa to make before I could make the vicarage of the parishes my home.
For the previous 4 years I had been working as a missionary in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa, in the wild west of Tanzania. It’s a remote, but beautiful place, with lots of forest and bushland, and also many people who are coming to faith in Jesus. The diocese is a mission area for the Anglican Church of Tanzania and my role was to train people to lead local churches. It was not always easy, but it was rewarding.
About this time last year, I had a sense that I should return to the UK. Initially I was unaware of what I would do here, but through discussions with the Bishop of Blackburn and others, I was pointed in the direction of this lovely part of Lancashire. After meeting the church wardens, who are also lovely and praying about the move, I agreed to take up the post once I had fulfilled my obligations to the Diocese in Tanzania and my mission agency.
On the 14th March I was licensed as Curate in charge of Copp St Anne and Inskip St Peter. St Anne’s church was nearly full, with old friends and new and it was great to be greeted officially by members of each church and school, as well as civic and deanery representatives. The buffet afterwards was a sight to be seen, and I’m sure there must have been 12 basketsful left over! It was a wonderful welcome.
I look forward to the journey we will take together, and it is exciting to know that the Lord Jesus is with us as he fulfils his promise to build His church (Matt.16:18). As we look ahead, I am reminded of a saying that I have heard many times: “Things go better with prayer”. My experience is that it is true, God is always ready to give to us the help we need as we pray to Him.
Can I then encourage you to be people of prayer? Please pray for me and for our churches as we move forward, and may I reassure you that I am committed to praying for you and our life together as the Body of Christ in Inskip and Copp and beyond.
With my love and prayers in Christ,
Rev Paul Hunter