THE first female vicar in more than seven centuries has taken charge of a Tickhill church.
Rev Alison Earl was inducted as the new vicar of Tickhill and Stainton by the Bishop of Doncaster, Rt Rev Peter Burrows.
The welcoming ceremony was held at St Mary’s Parish Church, Tickhill, and included people from her former parishes of Rossington, Elsecar and Worsbrough amongst the congregation.
Mrs Earl is now vicar of the united benefice of Tickhill and Stainton and will also preach at St Winifrid’s Church in Stainton.
The choirs of St Mary’s in Tickhill and St Mary’s at Worsbrough and their organist Andrew Bell shared the keyboard duties with Tickhill’s organist John Marsden at the ceremony.
Born and brought up in Maltby, where she attended Maltby Comprehensive School, Mrs Earl was ordained in 2004 and served as curate at St Michael’s Church in Rossington before taking on the role of vicar of the benefice of St Mary’s, Worsbrough and Holy Trinity, Elsecar.
She has been the police chaplain for South Yorkshire Police since she was ordained and Chief Constable Stephen Watson was in attendance, as were Lord and Lady Scarbrough.
Other attendees were Roman Catholic priest Father Don Stoker, a representative of Tickhill Methodist Church, Tickhill town councillor Linda Mayes, St Mary’s C of E Primary School head teacher Janet Sanderson and Estfeld Primary School head teacher Diane Risley.
Mrs Earl and her British Army padre husband Andrew will live at the new vicarage in Herril Ings, Tickhill.
She will be the first female vicar leading the parish since its first one, Allan De Thirnum, was appointed in 1289.