A bible for preaching and teaching and a cup and saucer to signify hospitality were among the gifts given to the new vicar of St Paul’s Church at his installation.
The special service to mark the arrival of Rev Dan McGowan took place last Wednesday.
The church in Warwick Road, Banbury, has been without a vicar since the death last year of the much-loved Rev Edward Coombs, who had served in the parish for 15 years.
The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Col John Bridgeman, and the Mayor, Cllr Gordon Ross, attended the service which was led by the Bishop of Dorchester, Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, and assisted by the Archdeacon, Ven Judy French.
Dan moves to Banbury from being Team Vicar in the Parish of Morden, in Surrey. He is married to Katie and they have three children, Emma, 11, and twins, Josh and Tom, 9.
After school he became a landscape gardener but in his twenties, he did a degree in politics after which he served the church in South America with the charity Latin Link. It was during this time that he met Katie. On a subsequent missionary role in Peru, he heard the call to come back and work in the UK.
He was a curate at a church in Peterlee before spending nine years in Morden.
He said: “We were beginning to think we might look for a new post when we saw the need for a new vicar at St Paul’s Banbury.
“We felt strongly this was where God might be leading us and so I applied. As well as demonstrating a clear sense of what it means to trust and follow Jesus, the church family had also been through the great sadness of losing their much-loved pastor to cancer.
“I felt very drawn to serve this church family. ”