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The pull of Lynn was strong for Minster's new team rector

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The new team rector at Lynn Minster says the draw of the town was strong.

The Rev Canon Dr Mark Dimond felt a pull when he visited St Margaret's Church during a fleeting visit to Norfolk last year.

So he was delighted to be offered the opportunity to take the role.

The Rev Canon Dr Mark Dimond is enjoying life in Lynn.
The Rev Canon Dr Mark Dimond is enjoying life in Lynn.

Rev Dimond, 53, had spent the previous two years leading Anglican churches in Berlin and Hamburg. And having lived and worked in several other countries including Japan, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, France, Russia and Hungary, he felt the time was right to make a return to the United Kingdom.

He said: "In a sense it was time for me to come back and see where God was calling me.

"I visited the Minster last year and sat by The Peace Globe.

The new team rector at Lynn Minster - The Rev Canon Dr Mark Dimond
The new team rector at Lynn Minster - The Rev Canon Dr Mark Dimond

"For me, I was struck by something. Having travelled to many places, it felt like a global to local feel.

"King's Lynn has more of a global feel than meets the eye.

"It has really good links with parts of northern Europe through the Hanseatic League, and Margery Kempe - a spiritual person in the Middle Ages who made pilgrimages - was from here."

New pilgrimage routes from Lynn, perhaps westward, are an element which Rev Dimond hopes to develop. He's also keen for the church to rise to the ecological challenge the world faces and be a beacon.

"And what's really important is young people," he said. "Can we invite young people into the church and give them something they will find attractive?

"I'm interested in working with schools."

Dr Dimond has previously been chaplain to the Archbishop of Wales, having being ordained in 2011. Prior to that, he taught history at Cardiff, Swansea and Glamorgan universities and was also an examiner for the International Baccalaureate.

A father of three, he now lives with his wife Samantha in the big and beautiful St Margaret's Vicarage.

"We're finding our way round," he joked. "It has magnificent views and you can't be anything other than wowed by the west facade of The Minster with its towers."

Last Sunday, Rev Dimond was instituted there by the Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, and inducted by the Archdeacon of Lynn, Ian Bentley.

He is now looking forward to getting to know the congregation better, having been grateful to find Lynn's people "very friendly".

"It's been a really difficult time over the last year," he said.

"Now we're hopefully coming out of a pandemic, it's a chance to understand how people feel about coming to church. What have they learnt, what have we learnt?

"Church is really about community and coming together and sharing. People have missed that."

Rev Dimond is relishing the challenge of not only re-establishing that community feel at The Minster as soon as possible but showcasing it too.

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