FROM film studio intern to coffee shop barista Cairo Street Unitarian Chapel's new American minister has enjoyed a spell across numerous industries.

But it was only after turning 25 when the Rev Bob Janis-Dillon, who lives in Newton-le-Willows, found his true calling in life and embarked on a career in ministry.

He arrived at the historic town centre church, which was founded in 1662, in September to begin his role in the new settings following the move overseas after living in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years.

"The people of Warrington have been so friendly and there is so much going on here – we are on the cusp of some very interesting things," said Bob, 39, who was born in Boston.

"I went into ministry to find the true meaning of life and it has been a blessing.

"My mum and dad took me to church when I was younger but I did not think I would be a minister. At 25 I realised I wanted to be one – it gradually came to me and felt like the right thing to do.

"Before that I had been a newspaper reporter, intern at a film studio and barista in a coffee store.

"I have felt a great connection with the community and even at the homeless shelter here where people are going through difficult times there is a great sense of humanity on display.

"As a congregation we are trying to reach out to others."

Bob, who lives with his wife and two children, is enjoying every minute of his time in the town but is determined to get more people to visit the chapel in the year ahead.

He added: "We have a wonderful building here and are trying to find ways to be as open as we can to people.

"We are so lucky to be in the centre of Warrington and there is so much opportunity here – it is a wonderful place, home to a great history.

"As well as the adults there are kids who come in to attend the services which is so special to see. We like to hear the sound of little feet.

"My plan is to stay here indefinitely, I have made some good friends and am enjoying the location very much, including the natural beauty on offer."

The church, which has records of baptisms and burials dating back to the eighteenth century, will host Mr Dillon's official induction ceremony on March 19.

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