All change at Crewe!
The whistle was blown, loudly. But not on the railway station - it was actually being blown by Revd Lars Pettersen, during his induction service to the pastorate at Union Street Baptist Church in Crewe.
The church, which was built by the railway and celebrated its 132nd anniversary in November last year, has been in interregnum since January 2013. The diaconate and congregation have called Lars, who is accompanied by his wife Lynn, and they made the move to Crewe in December.
A gifted musician, Lars has previously worked in Hull and Peterborough and invitations to attend the service were accepted by friends and former colleagues from across the UK.
The congregation was welcomed by the Revd Sue Thompson, who had acted as moderator during the 11 month interregnum, and who had been a previous minister at the church.
Also taking part, were Helen Birtles Church Secretary, the Revd Tim Presswood, Regional Minister at the North Western Baptist Association and the address was given by the Revd David Roissetter, Royal Navy Chaplain. A reading from 1 Corinthians was given by Darren Thornhill. All the hymns were accompanied by David Greatbanks on the pipe organ.
'Crewe is one of those places in which many people change trains and probably the majority of them never see much more than the station!,' said Lars.
'My approach is hopefully to inspire and encourage, so that as many people as possible will “get on board” and follow His lead.'