CALAIS may be an unlikely setting for St Mary’s first female rector to decide that Lymm was the place for her.

But that was the case for the Rev Beverley Jameson.

The Rev Bev, as she is better known, was returning from a holiday with her parents when she spotted the job ad while passing time on her phone.

Now, months later, she has moved to Cheshire and is loving life in Lymm.

“I was scrolling around, as you do, and saw the advert in The Church Times and I just felt a calling to it.

“I came early for my interview which involved meeting the PCC and just by looking round the village then, I realised this was where God wanted me to be.

“It felt absolutely right,” she added.

She was formally inducted as rector during a special service led by the Bishop of Chester the Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster in the church, based near Lymm Dam, late last month.

But Bev’s path to the ministry is more unusual than most.

Not only did she give up a high flying career in local government, where she was a deputy chief executive of a district authority in Shropshire, but at one stage in life, she didn’t believe in God at all.

“For a very long time, I didn’t believe in God,” she said.

“But about 20 years ago my friends Sue and John were getting married and the minister asked if they would like to come to a few services.

“I went along for support. Since the wedding, they have not been back and now I am a minister!

“I started to believe there was a God and that Jesus Christ was in my life.

“As I got more involved in the church, I realised I had a deeper calling.”

At the same time, Bev’s career was flourishing.

She moved to Market Drayton to become corporate director and deputy chief executive of the council. A well paid job with an active social life that she was about to swap for a one-bedroom flat in a bible college in Nottingham.

“I remember being in a meeting with the chief executive and we had a conversation where I was about to be promoted,” she said.

“And I said well thank you, but I am about to go to bible college to study theology. I think there was surprise!

“I went from having a very comfortable life in Market Drayton, which was a lovely place to a one-bedroom flat in Nottingham, living on campus.

“That was quite hard at first, going back to doing essays and long assignments on theology.”

By 2011 Bev had been ordained and worked at parishes in the Diocese of Worcester before moving to Lymm.

A little more than a week into the job and Bev, who lives with her dog Toby, already knows she has made the right decision.

“Everyone has been so friendly. The wardens Jacky Carroll and Jill Waseys, especially,” she said.

“The plan now is to meet as many people as possibly both within the church and the wider community.

“I really want to work with the schools so will be going to the high school and the four primary schools as soon as I can.”

In the short term, Bev, who enjoys walking in her spare time, is looking forward to the impressive Christmas tree festival in the first weekend of December and she is already planning for 2018.

She added: “In my previous parish we did ‘Experience Easter’ – a series of interactive experiences based around Easter.

“We got 350 schoolchildren to that so I want to speak to the four primary schools and have something similar here.

“But mainly I want to meet people in the community so people know who I am and where I am.”