Reverend Liz England moved to Buxton in 2019 and took on the role of Rector of Buxton with responsibility for six churches.
A ceremony marking her appointment had been due to take place in 2020 but had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, it did go ahead earlier this month with the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Libby Lane in attendance.
Rev Liz said: “My role hasn’t changed but this was just another thing which has been put on hold because of covid.
"It was lovely to welcome the Bishop and the service felt very celebratory.
"It also felt like a new beginning for me too which was nice.”
Rev Liz is the first woman to take on the role in the town and says so much has changed within the church over the years.
“I was 23 when I felt God calling me, this was back in 1996 just two years after the law changed allowing women leadership roles in the church,” she said.
"I had two young children and people weren’t very open to the idea so I put it on hold.”
She then ran her own business for many years but after she was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer she said she prayed to God, saying ‘If you let me live I will do what you have been calling me to do.’
She did her training, or curacy, in Lichfield before moving to Buxton where she now heads up St John's, St Mary’s, St Anne’s, St James’, Christ Church in Burbage and Christ Church in King Sterndale.
She said: “One thing I have been pushing for was for each church to find their own identity and what makes them special rather than then all being lumped together."
And her approach seems to be working as since the pandemic the churches have seen a growth of around 30 people.
She said: “People have been more worried about death during covid or have started to pray and then came along as they wanted to find out more or just have a chat with us.
“All of the six churches I represent welcome every and anyone regardless of gender, faith, sexuality or shoe size!”