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Arrival of new minister 'answered a prayer' of parishioners

The town’s Methodist churches welcomed their new minister in a special service on Sunday.

The Reverend Carmel Ieraci has taken on the role, three years since Rev Gary Homewood retired as Methodist minister on medical grounds.

In the interim the churches, in Maidenhead High Street, St Mark’s Crescent and Woodlands Park have been overseen by ministers from Slough, Windsor and Staines.

Rev Ieraci said: “One of the things that people have been saying is that they have been praying and waiting for this appointment for a long time.

“It’s answered a prayer and they’re very excited.”

A native of Adelaide, Australia, Rev Ieraci moved to Maidenhead from Hampshire, where she had pastoral oversight of Bridge Street Methodist Church, Andover.

She said: “It was after prayerful consideration that I felt a sense of God’s call to serve alongside the Methodist people of Maidenhead to fulfill their vision of serving the community and reflecting the love of Jesus.”

Rev Ieraci said that, since she arrived, ‘everyone’s been so welcoming and so warm’.

She added: “I’m looking forward to getting to know the three congregations well. I love God, I love people.”

The service on Sunday, at High Street Methodist Church, was attended by worshippers from all three churches.

Rev Anne Ellis was also inducted at the service as minister of the Slough

Methodist churches.

Chairman of the South East Methodist District, Rev Doctor David Hinchcliffe delivered a sermon and superintendent minister of the Thames Valley Methodist Circuit Rev Sonia Hicks offered prayers and led the worship service.

A Zimbabwean choir and the choir from the High Street church sang.

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