A new vicar for Leek's parish church has been appointed.
Reverend Nigel Irons has become the vicar of St Edward's and St John's churches in Leek. The role also includes being Team Rector for Leek and Meerbrook.
Born and raised in the Leicestershire village of Birstall, Nigel became a Christian at the age of 12 after attending a 'Crusader Camp'.
He continued going to church when he and his family moved to Shenton, still in Leicestershire.
On entering adult life, Nigel worked for an international construction company as an estimator, which led him to travel many corners of the world including the Middle East, Far East and America.
It was during a trip to Muscat, in the Gulf of Oman, that Nigel said he had the calling to become a vicar.
He said: "I felt God suggesting that maybe I could become a vicar. So I started praying about it as I wanted to make sure that it was the right thing to do.
"I asked God for people to suggest it to me and after that every year for around 10 years someone different did suggest that I become a vicar. My mum even said to me one Christmas 'You would make a good vicar'."
So after 20 years in the construction business, Nigel decided to offer his services to the Church of England and was ordained as a Deacon in 1997, and then as a Priest a year later.
He carried out his curacy in Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent, before becoming vicar of All Saints Church in Burton upon Trent, for 13 years.
A father-of-two and grandfather-of-four, he said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and met some lovely people.
"I then saw the job advertisement for St Edward's which includes being Team Rector, and everything the advertisement detailed I had at least some experience in, including the Street Pastor scheme, being a school governor, and also looking after a team of churches."
Nigel, who enjoys playing guitar and taking canal boat holidays, moved into Leek on March 11 and was licensed as St Edward's vicar and Team Rector, on April 8.
Nigel said: "I have found the people of Leek are welcoming, friendly, encouraging and supportive, and I feel that this has been the right move for me.
"Leek is about the third of the size of Burton.
"Its community is a lot more compact.
"I feel very blessed to have come to a beautiful part of this world as there is absolutely fantastic scenery around here which I am looking forward to enjoying and exploring."
As for his work in the church, Nigel said he is hoping to bring in a visual element.
He said: "I want to develop the use of visuals such as having a screen for images and soon, with video clips.
"I feel that visual elements such as these add as a learning tool for services.
"With my experience in music, I would also like to expand the variety of music in the church."
The Leek Team CofE Ministry includes: St Edward's, St John's, All Saints, St Luke's, St Paul's and St Matthew's in Meerbrook.
In terms of his role as Team Rector, Nigel said: "I really want to affirm and encourage the co-operation of the inter-denomination of the churches in town.
"I am also really pleased to be involved with St Edward's Academy and am looking forward to the role of governor there as I enjoy working with young people.
"My overall aim is to make the gospel more accessible to more people in the town."