Happy birthday and welcome for Primley's new pastor

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:20 17 June 2010

THE new pastor of Primley s United Reformed Church celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday and has praised the warm and understanding welcome he has received while adapting to East Devon life.

THE new pastor of Primley's United Reformed Church celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday and has praised the "warm and understanding" welcome he has received while adapting to East Devon life.

The Reverend Graham Tarn was ordained and instated as pastor in Ottery St Mary last month having taken up residence in Ice House Lane, Sidmouth, with wife Dawn and daughter Roberta in August.

He said: "I am very busy but am enjoying myself. Everybody is warm, welcoming and understanding."

"It is an ongoing process and I am finding out what is right for this congregation as it may be different from others. It's a matter of finding common ground."

Rev Tarn graduated from Cambridge University with a theology degree in June 2007 and spent the following year on an internship with experienced ministers in Luton and Dunstable.

He added: "It is a fairly steep learning curve as there are both similarities and differences."

"People seem to have more time here to say hello than in a commuter block so there is more of a possibility to relate to people."

Roger Benfield, 75, of Dunkeswell, who attends services at Ottery URC said: "He is settling in quite well and getting to know everybody, which can be a long and uphill struggle at the start but everybody seems to like him."

Rev Tarn also acts as pastor for United Reform Churches of Ottery St Mary and Aylesbeare.

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