A FORMER lacrosse star who was once asked to appear on TV’s Big Brother has become the new Rector of Haxby and Wigginton.

The Reverend Kathryn Jackson, who was one of Britain’s first women vicars, was formally instituted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu at St Mary’s Church in Haxby at the weekend.

Rev Jackson was previously Priest-in-charge of St Columba in Scarborough and Chaplain to Saint Catherine’s Hospice.

She is a keen cyclist, and on arriving at Haxby and Wigginton she was greeted by a scarecrow version of herself, at the communities' Methodist Church Scarecrow Festival.

She played lacrosse for England when she was at school, enjoys swimming, cycling and walking and was part of the Scarborough group ‘Singing Vicars’, even receiving an invitation to live in the Big Brother house.

She said: “I felt called to ministry from a very early age, and was only five years old when I told my grandma I would like to be a vicar. I was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in 1994, so my move to Haxby and Wigginton coincides with my 20th anniversary of being a priest.

“When I saw the Haxby and Wigginton post advertised, I felt very strongly that God was calling me to serve as Rector here, as there is such a lovely mixture of families and older people. I enjoy meeting people, having fun and sharing my faith with people of all ages.”

Rev Jackson is married to Rev Martin Doe, Senior Chaplain to Scarborough Hospital. 

She said: “Martin will commute to Scarborough on the train each day, but my commute will be a little easier – a two-minute walk to St Nicholas, Wigginton, up a very beautiful leafy lane and a slightly longer walk through the very attractive town of Haxby to St Mary’s.

“I can’t wait to share ministry with the lovely people of Haxby and Wigginton, and to work with them as we discern together where God is leading us. Bring it on!”