Steve said: “Some people are amazed that I would leave beautiful, sunny South Africa to come and live and work in this part of the world. Part of the push was the security situation there and diminishing opportunities for our children – I am privileged to father two teenage girls, Kyla, 18 and Tegan, 15.
“The pull was family living in the UK and fresh opportunities in my ministry and for my wife, Olivia.”
He will be leading the ministry covering the fifteen parishes of the Stroudwater Benefice, living in Leonard Stanley.
Steve recognizes the challenges of looking after such a large area but said: “It is a daunting and challenging post, but one which offers very interesting opportunities in responding to what it means to truly be the church in this varied and beautiful part of the United Kingdom.
“I have been very warmly welcomed in my first few weeks living in Leonard Stanley and I have been told this isn’t surprising as Gloucestershire is reputed to be a friendly and welcoming place.
“Moving forward, one of the challenges is to explore ways in which we can help those not in church, or who are disaffected with church, to find a relationship with Jesus and to help them grow in their faith.”
In his spare time, Steve enjoys camping, motorcycling, fly-fishing and reading, time with family and friends, travelling and experiencing new places and people.
Steve was licensed to the benefice at a special service on 1 August.