Linda is new minister at Harpenden’s All Saints Church

A SELF-described “Maid of Kent” whose ancestors have racked up three hundred years of agricultural labouring in that county is enjoying her role as a new church minister in Harpenden.

The Rev Linda Williams said she had settled “really well” into her post of curate-in-charge of All Saints, Station Road, serving east Harpenden and Batford, with a pastoral responsibility for East Hyde communities.

The life-long Christian, who is currently completing a BA in Theology, said: “It’s lovely, it’s like home. It’s exactly right. I was thrilled to be offered the post.”

The Rev Williams is already well into preparations to mark All Saints’ 50th anniversary in 2014. She explained: “We are going to have a big celebration. The church was designed by one of the parishioners. It really is a community church.”

She said plans included upgrading the church by installing heating, lighting and broadband facilities.

All Saints didn’t have a minister at the church for 18 months before the Rev Williams started the role in December.

A keen amateur genealogist, she is enjoying continuing her long-term family history “hobby” inspired by her father.

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She explained: “My English family have three hundred years of agricultural labouring in Kent behind them and I, my cousins and our extended family grew up on farms in the Medway valley.

“My family’s historically strong commitment to the church took in Georgian ancestors who were parish clerks scribbling graffiti on registers, to my grandmother’s parish ‘teas’.

“I remember well my Dad on tenor bell ascending to the bell chamber on the end of a rope as he ‘rang up’ while I stood on a box tentatively learning not to let go of the bell rope myself.

“I grew up within both continental European Roman Catholic and Anglican family backgrounds. These two strands of Christianity provided insights and influenced my own faith development and were formative in grounding my interest in ecumenism.”