A FORMER medical physicist has taken charge of two churches in Hebburn.
The Rev Alan Maxwell, 37, was installed as vicar of both St Cuthbert’s Church in Argyle Street and St Oswald’s Church in St Oswald’s Road.
Previously a curate at All Saints Church, Gosforth, Newcastle, Glasgow-born Mr Maxwell originally gained a physics degree and later worked as a medical physicist at several hospitals.
But he eventually swapped physics for the Anglican Church, studying theology at Ridley Hall College, Cambridge, before gaining his first curacy in Gosforth.
With wife Aggie and their three children, Mr Maxwell said he is busy settling into his new church role in Hebburn, where he succeeds the Rev Barry Hunt, who retired last year.
Mr Maxwell said: “I’ve found the local people to be very friendly and very keen to help out.
“But people in Hebburn are also very forthright and say what they mean, which is fine by me.”
Mr Maxwell revealed he didn’t know a great deal about Hebburn until recently.
But he added that he is “looking forward” to the challenge of serving the combined churches of St Cuthbert’s and St Oswald’s, which have about 140 regular churchgoers.
“There’s a lot of house building going on around Hebburn, so that may change the nature of the area and the people, so it’s a period of change,” Mr Maxwell added.
New residential developments include High View, created by the Four Housing Group on the former vacant School Street site, not far from St Cuthbert’s Church.
Sunday services are held at 7.45am and 9am at St Cuthbert’s and 10.30am at St Oswald’s.