Parkes Lutheran Church's prayers for pastor answered

HAPPY CONGREGATION: Pastor James Leach is a welcome addition to St Paul's Lutheran Church in Parkes.

HAPPY CONGREGATION: Pastor James Leach is a welcome addition to St Paul's Lutheran Church in Parkes.

The Lutheran congregation of St Paul's is rejoicing in securing the parish a new pastor, filling the position which had been vacant for almost three years.

Pastor James Leach moved to Parkes from the Clare Valley in South Australia with his wife Adele and their six children.

They had been there for the six years since James graduated university with a Bachelor of Ministry and a Bachelor of Theology in 2012.

Parkes is his second placement and he is really enjoying his work here.

"We are hoping to be able to extend our stay around here a little bit longer, especially considering how laid back everyone is," he said.

"I've been blown away by the way that the pastors from all the churches get together, the way that they are supported by council, they way that we are then able to support council in turn, and the way they just get in and do stuff. It's cool. You don't get that in very many places."

James said before he joined the church he worked in a range of different occupations

"Most of them have been around the interpersonal, working with the down and out, people that have really struggled with life," the 34-year-old said.

"I've worked with young kids with disabilities and also with children and youths at risk of drug use or prison as an Aboriginal liaison worker in Darwin."

James said although he never wanted to be a pastor, from a really young age he kind of always knew that he would be.

"It was just a knowledge I had that one day I would be a pastor," he said.

"When I was doing my religious education, when I was 12 or 13, one of my pastors said to me 'you are going to make a really good pastor one day' and I told him where to go, 'I don't want to be a pastor!'.

"I tried everything while studying five years of university to be a pastor to get kicked out," he laughed.

James said he and Adele's six children, Amelia 16, Keziah 13, Zeek 10, Eliora 8, Netanya 5 and Tobias 11 months, keep them both on their toes.

"Adele is my biggest asset to ministry, she really is," he said.

"She loves people and is very down to earth. She keeps things very real."

James said he and his 40 strong Parkes congregation are a great fit.

"We're like a hat and gloves," he said.

"The things they need in this church are the gifts that I've got, I couldn't have planned it to work out this well.

"My method of ministry isn't so much breaking the age groups up as what it is working intergenerationally - we've had some pretty fun and interesting services."