Magic! New priest for Stowmarket

CHURCH services in Stowmarket could be getting a magical rock and roll makeover with the appointment of a new priest.The Reverend Michael Eden is to be the new Priest-in-Charge of St Peter and St Mary's in Stowmarket But Michael, who has been vicar of St Columba church in Corby, Northamptonshire for the past ten years, is no ordinary priest.

By Nick Richards

CHURCH services in Stowmarket could be getting a magical rock and roll makeover with the appointment of a new priest.

The Rev Michael Eden is to be the new priest-in-charge of St Peter and St Mary's in Stowmarket.

But Michael, who has been vicar of St Columba church in Corby, Northamptonshire for the past ten years, is no ordinary priest.

He cites rock 'n' roll, juggling and conjuring among his hobbies, which he said have also all played a part in his novel church services. I play with a band of musicians who play at the worships. We play all sorts from 50s rock and roll to 60s pop. I hope to be bringing some of this to Suffolk!

"I'm also a member of Northampton Magicians Club and like to put across Christianity in a visual and contemporary way which conjuring does. I use it in the way Jesus used magic in his parables. It's popular with kids – and pretty popular with adults too.

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"I can juggle anything – from basketballs to peanuts. Just give me three objects and I will juggle with them!"

"I am excited by the challenge of the post in Stowmarket. I hope to build on the strengths of the past and I believe the church needs to be contemporary and relevant for the 21st century.

The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, Bishop of St Edmunsbury and Ipswich said: "The appointment of Michael is such good news for the parish of Stowmarket. He has many skills to offer and together with the ministry team will lead the church into a new era of stability and growth."

Earlier this year the Rev Christopher Myhill was appointed to the position but had to withdraw due to ill health. Mr Myhill died of cancer last month.

Michael is married and has three children and will have his licensing service on March 8, 2003.

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