Revd Jennifer S. Croft says, “I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the next Vicar of All Saints and Salutation, Darlington with St Edwin, High Coniscliffe, & St Mary, Piercebridge. I am so looking forward to working with such lovely and welcoming people, and I feel greatly blessed in this new appointment. I will be praying for you all and I can’t wait to meet you in 2020. Love and prayers assured.”
Jennifer was born in Derbyshire then moved to Tow Law in County Durham when she was 10 years old. Her family lived in Tow Law for many years before eventually moving to Crook. Jennifer went to Wolsingham secondary school, then studied Physiology at the University of Leeds. She worked as a cardiovascular research scientist in Leeds and then as an occupational lung disease scientist in Birmingham, before receiving the call to ordained ministry in 1999. Jennifer trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon in Oxford whilst studying a University of Oxford course. She served her curacy from 2001-2005 at Leamington Spa & was the Chaplain for the Deaf in the Diocese of Coventry, before being appointed as the University Chaplain & Team Leader at Coventry University, where she served for many years. During this time, Jennifer also lectured in physiology, so the scientific part of her life continued! Keen to develop her academic skills, she was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at Warwick University for a 2 year project whilst being a Vicar in High Legh, Knutsford. During this time in the parish, bearing in mind Jennifer is also an amateur astronomer, she was a co-founder of a community observatory, which was completed in 2014.
Jennifer relocated back to the north east five years ago and currently serves as a Vicar in Middlesbrough, and during this time she has been doing some postgraduate training in psychology. During her time in Middlesbrough, she has brought more people into the church, where all ages groups are well represented. She enjoys her work with schools in various ways, and even teaches art to year 6 pupils. One of Jennifer’s hobbies is art, whether it’s watercolours, acrylics, etc and she finds it very relaxing. Her church was the first in Middlesbrough to become ‘dementia friendly’, they run ‘singing for the brain’ and she co-leads a mental health and spirituality group. She is particularly keen on the development of faith through teaching, discussion and fellowship, and building up lay people; thus, she is an enabler, a mentor, a pastor and a teacher. She has been known to drink the occasional real ale and is a self-confessed coffee snob!
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