Meet the vicar of Wellingborough's major new housing development
The development may not have any residents yet, but it does have a vicar and she can't wait to meet them when they move in.
Stanton Cross is a major development by Bovis Homes set to deliver 3,650 homes on land to the east of Wellingborough’s train station.
It will be the largest growth the town has seen since the 1960s, including new homes as well as shops, schools, commercial space, a town park, community centre and doctor’s surgery.
Houses at Stanton Cross are now being advertised online and Revd Catherine Lomas is looking forward to being part of the new community.
The former solicitor moved to Northamptonshire in 2010 and was ordained in the summer.
In 2016, Revd Lomas was appointed Pioneer Vicar of Irchester with Stanton Cross, with the specific task of being a Christian presence and serving the new community as it develops.
Speaking about the new development, Revd Lomas said: “I’ve been vicar of Stanton Cross for two years already and while there haven’t been any residents, I have been praying that God will bring people to live there and bless them.
“I’ve represented their interests in the recent consultation over rail services through Wellingborough and been thinking and planning for the next phase of my involvement in the development.
“I’ve also been praying regularly for the large number of workers who have been on site these past years, keeping up with the challenges and the milestones of a development on this scale, and more recently, taking the opportunity to get on site to see the progress being made.
“As we get nearer to the first completions, I’m looking forward finally to meeting the people who move in and, I hope, getting to know them.
“People buy a house wanting to make it their home.
“In the same way, I see my role as facilitating the transformation that makes a housing development into a community.
“My hope is that by being a priestly presence, I can serve the whole community – people of any faith or none – as well as building up a worshipping Christian community that will bless its neighbours.”
If she was moving into one of the new homes and could only take three items, she said: “When I was training for ordination, I was given an icon of St Antony of Egypt, which has sat above my desk ever since.
“I have a vision for founding a Christian community at Stanton Cross named after St Antony so his icon would have to come first.
“I’m a keen artist so I’d definitely want my art materials.
“And I love all kinds of music so possibly a piano too.”
When asked which elements of Stanton Cross she is most excited to see brought to life, Revd Lomas said: “That’s a tough question as there are so many elements to it.
“I think the first time that I get to drive from Wellingborough up over the railway and river bridges and into the neighbourhood centre will feel really special.
“Meeting the first residents to move in will of course be significant.
“Then, I trust that my vision of establishing the community of St Antony will come into being, as we live by example the good news of our faith in Jesus Christ.”