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Rev. Dr. Ruth Ackroyd (Parish Priest / Vicar)

Ruth lives for part of the week at the Vicarage in Elton, where she can be contacted. Ruth's background is in teaching (formerly Head of Religious Studies at the University of Chester) and has a passion for increasing people's access to education and skills, particularly through her work in Ethiopia.

A personal message from Ruth

“My name is Ruth and I’m Vicar here and I love this parish with its mix of history, agriculture and industry, and most importantly its lovely and hard-working people!

My job is basically to love and serve everyone here with God’s love and to point you to Jesus by what I do and say. That’s a big ask! But with God’s strength, I do my best. I, say sorry when I get it wrong, and start over again.

Serving you means coming to see you if you’d like to discuss a baptism or thanksgiving service, or if you’d like to plan a church wedding, or if you’re ill and would like a visit, or when someone has died and you need to plan a funeral. I’m here to help.

I’m often teased that I just work on Sundays – well, I do work on Sundays, leading worship at St James, Ince, or at the Church Hall, Elton, and even at St Mary’s, Thornton-Le Moors. Services can include baptism or receiving Holy Communion - bread and wine – to remember that Jesus died for us. Some worship is All Age with drama and video clips, some is more for adults. ….and then there’s Messy Church…. Do join us!

I don’t just ‘do worship’, I also help with Babies and Toddlers, Youth Club, and Afternoon Tea. And, every term I run a relaxed, informal Alpha course for a small group of people who’ve decided that they want to explore Christianity by watching a dvd and discussing it.

Further out in the community, I’m a governor at Elton Primary School and I serve on the Elton Parish Council.

I also visit Ethiopia twice a year to lead two projects, one for higher education for women and the other to train and fund loans for women to start small businesses.

Before I retired from my day job, I worked in Chester at the University and now have links with the University at Thornton Science Park. I share a 50ft canal boat with seven others and I love swimming and snorkelling – but not in the canal! 

Perhaps the two most unusual things I’ve done since coming here are to bless and pour champagne over a sailing boat built by students at Thornton Science Park, and pray for a young man to win a boxing match. We drank the rest of the champagne … and the boxer won!”

What is a Parish Priest / Vicar?

Ruth is our Parish Priest or Vicar which means she has been ordained by the Church of England to a ministerial position in our community. Ruth leads every aspect of our worship during all the familiar passages of life including baptism, confirmation, marriage and death. Ruth ministers specific religious ceremonies such as Holy Communion and working with the congregation and in the local community, has a responsibility to offer care and support for those in need, raise awareness of our work as a church community and offer guidance and teaching.