THAME: New vicar settling in and loving life in ‘friendly’ town

Rev Rachel Cross with her dog Jelly
Rev Rachel Cross with her dog Jelly

A new vicar says she has really settled into life in Thame and is looking forward to her first Christmas in the town.

Rachel Cross, who took over at Barley Hill Church a couple of months ago said she loved the friendliness of the town.

Rev Cross, who moved to the town in August, previously worked as an intensive care nurse, spending some time at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, before training to be a vicar.

She said: “The process of being selected so I could train as a vicar took about two years.

“I then went on a three year course and worked at an inner city parish church where I previously lived in Newcastle.”

Rev Cross, 41, who is also the vicar of St Catherine’s Church in Towersey as well as Barley Hill said: “The neighbours are very welcoming and it is amazing how friendly and community-spirited the town is.

“I have really enjoyed the Thame show and fair and I love any town that will close its high street for a party!”

Rev Cross lives in Lea Park with her husband Simon, 48, and their two sons Ben, 14 and Theo, 12, who both attend Lord Williams School.

The family also have a black Labrador dog named Jelly, aged nine.

Rev Cross said: “We have friends with the surname Jelly and as they were heading back to Australia on the day we bought the dog, we decided to name her Jelly.”

Rev Cross added she was already making plans for the Christmas services.

She said: “There will be a family fun morning on December 14 with a short service followed by activities and games for children and refreshments.

“We are also holding our carol service this year on December 21 at 10.30am.

“I hope to see lots of people at both events.”