It’s breakfast in church before we sing hymns

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The community room kitchen at St Matthew’s Church in Sutton Bridge will open for family breakfasts this Sunday.

Newly installed vicar the Rev David Oxtoby, a former IT professional, is making changes here and there to encourage more people to attend St Matthew’s and the other church under his wing, St Mary’s at Tydd St Mary.

Former IT professional David Oxtoby who is vicar of Sutton Bridge and Tydd St Mary.

Former IT professional David Oxtoby who is vicar of Sutton Bridge and Tydd St Mary.

Breakfast at St Matthew’s takes place on the first Sunday of the month and families can decide whether to stay on for the church service.

David (40) will lead services in both of his parishes every Sunday and churchgoers may see some bits and pieces from his old day job creeping in.

He said: “I suppose for family services we will use projection systems rather than printed paperwork, we will stream music from my phone over the PA system, where it’s appropriate, and I will be developing a website for communicating what we do as a church in the community.”

But his central role of “making Jesus known in word and action” is no different from that of any other clergyman.

David, who has a wife Christina, is forging links with schools on his patch and will hold assemblies at Westmere.

He said: “Long term I would love to work in partnership with other churches and other ministers.”

Born in Hull, David left school with “a standard set of GCSEs”, but later studied for a computer science degree at Huddersfield University.

As a boy of six, David was put off Anglican Church services because they didn’t feel “relevant” to him – but he became a Christian in his early 20s and life has brought him full circle through other churches like the Elim Pentecostal to being a Church of England minister.