A VILLAGE vicar is combining her talents as a professional singer with her new role in the church at a special service at Easter.

The Rev Jenny Hill, rector of the parish of West Buckrose, has written some of the music and will also sing at the Service of Light on Easter Saturday.

The parish is Jenny’s first after she retrained as a vicar and moved to Ryedale from Cornwall just over a year ago.

“I sang and taught music until I had a calling in my 50s and studied to join the church,” Jenny said.

“I was a curate in Cornwall and came up here to look at the parish when a vacancy became available and thought what a lovely place it would be to come to.

“My husband Douglas is from West Yorkshire and although I hadn’t been to this part of the county before, we are very happy here.”

Jenny’s parish covers eight churches – Acklam, Birdsall, Burythorpe, Langton, Leavening, North Grimston, Settrington and Westow.

The Service of Light will be held at St Mary’s in Birdsall and starts in the ruins of the old church next to Birdsall House.

“The service is one of the most majestic and beautiful of the church’s year,” Jenny said.

“It incorporates the singing of the Exsultet, an ancient Easter hymn, which tells the story of God’s saving work, from creation through to death and resurrection of Jesus.”

Jenny added that the service uses the symbol of light to highlight the new life of the risen Christ.

“It begins with the church in darkness, meanwhile, a bonfire will be kindled in the ruins of the old St Mary’s Church, next to Birdsall House,” she said.

“From there, the light will be carried in a procession towards the new St Mary’s where, from the same light, the Easter candle will be lit and passed around the congregation as individual candles are lit.

“The service continues with glorious music, hymns and readings, bells and other joyous sounds to celebrate the end of the solemnity of Lent and the Crucifixion.”

Everyone is welcome to join the service which starts at 8pm on Saturday, April 23 in the ruins of St Mary’s Church at Birdsall and it is advisable to wear suitable footwear as the procession will walk across grass.

For anyone who would prefer to go straight to the new church, the service there will start at 8.15pm.