A VICAR is urging the church to shed its “boring” image as part of her plans to breath new life into religion.
Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, formerly interim principal of Durham University’s Ustinov College, has stepped into the shoes of vicar of Belmont and Pittington.
As an academic specialising in church history, she believes the church has to move with the times in order to be relevant.
She added that in a time when congregation numbers are falling, it is essential that the church addresses 21st-century issues.
Dr Threlfall-Holmes said: “I think it is important to answer the questions people are asking now and not those they were asking 400 years ago.
“There is a danger that we retreat into a historical golden age. We need to acknowledge that society has changed.
“The church needs to be challenging. It needs to be exciting for people. We need to enthuse people about the idea of Jesus so that it’s not a case of why don’t they believe but rather how can they not?”
She is looking forward to taking her ideas into her new parish. “It is already a well-run and well attended church so my job will be about building on success,” she said.
“We do need to engage more with children and young families. There has been an increase in young families as new families move in to the area. There is a huge appetite to engage with them, through schools and celebrations as well as through church activities.”
Dr Threlfall-Holmes is known as a strong advocate for women priests and bishops.