Biddulph Methodist Church, on Station Road, which describes itself as “a very busy and active community church” with lots of involvement with the town and civic communities, has welcomed a new minister.
The Rev Yanyan Case will have four chapels in her care – Biddulph, Hill Top, New Road and Mow Cop.
She came from her native China 18 years ago when she was converted to Christianity, heard the voice of the Lord calling her to begin her training and ministry.
Friday was the big welcome service held at Biddulph Methodist Church, led by the Rev Helen Kirk, chair of the district, and the Rev Yvonne Pearson, superintendent minister.
Also attending and welcoming Ms Case were the mayor, Coun Ken Harper, and mayoress Cheryl Bayley. The congregation numbered nearly 200 and the hymns of praise and thanksgiving, accompanied on the organ by David Copeland could be heard all over the town.
The Community Gospel Choir conducted by Sue McAllister, accompanied by Jackie Spry, sang the anthem “Praise the Lord”.
Refreshments and fellowship followed and everyone could meet and welcome Ms Case and her daughter, Olivia.
The church’s Sue Millard said: “We hope they will be very happy in this friendly town and they look forward to being involved in the life of the community.”
Ms Case came to the UK in 2004 to do an MA in human resource management, hoping to enter the business world.
She said: “Little did I know that God had a different plan for my life. Not only did I become the first Christian in my family but afterwards all my family members became Christians too. And I ended up in ordained ministry in the Methodist Church in Britain.”
She trained at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and prior to her appointment in Dane and Trent Circuit, served in Nottingham and Derby District. Apart from circuit ministry, she also served on the Methodist Faith and Order Committee and is part of the Racial Justice Solidarity Circle.
She holds an MA degree in missiology (an interdisciplinary field of inquiry into Christian mission), another MA in human resource management, a post-graduate diploma in business administration, and she is expecting a BA in theology, while also studying Biblical Hebrew.
“I am fascinated by the Bible and Chinese Christianity,” she said.
She enjoys hobbies such as singing, dancing, hiking, badminton, travelling and movies.