The congregation at Hydepark Presbyterian Church has extended a warm welcome to new minister Jonathan Boyd.
Rev Boyd took charge of the church and also Lylehill Presbyterian, replacing Paul Dalzell who has moved to Cregagh Presbyterian, at the beginning of June after working as an assistant minister at Stormont.
The father-of-two is originally from Holywood and is a former physics graduate from Oxford University.
“I was working away in the university and decided that physics was not what I wanted to do for all my life,” the 30-year-old told the Times.
“I loved working with the church and loved the Bible studies and after working in London for a year I knew that it was my calling to dedicate my life to the church.”
He went on: “I have always been a member of the Presbyterian church and I grew up in Holywood, High Street Presbyterian.
“Since starting here in at Hydepark I have received a very warm welcome. There is a great community spirit to the place.
“I have been very impressed with the charity work of the people in the church. There is a group of guys from the church doing a charity cycle ride up to the four peaks of England, Scotland, Wales and NI for the Perinatal Trust Fund which helps young babies born with birth problems.
“And that’s a great gesture by those guys and typical of the ethos in the church.”
He continued: “I want to work with all in the community and try to build on the notion that the church can be a real hub of the community.
“My attitude is that we have good neighbours and good news to share with them. It’s been early days at the moment and I am just getting to know the people.
“My job is to reach out to the people in the community, not necessarily those connected to the church.
“People, particularly young people, have become somewhat disillusioned with the church, which is understandable given recent events. But I hope that we live to be able to show them that we can be an antidote to life’s ill.
“I want to work with the people and the community and be guided by them and of course listen to God and the way he directs me.”
Jonathan has moved to the community with his wife Jane and their two sons, 21-month-old Joshua and Jacob (eight months).