MAN OF FAITH: The newly appointed associate minister for the parishes of Lynesack, Evenwood and Cockfield, Revd Lloyd Evans                              TM pic
MAN OF FAITH: The newly appointed associate minister for the parishes of Lynesack, Evenwood and Cockfield, Revd Lloyd Evans TM pic

FOR many people religion and science cannot be reconciled – but not so for the Gaunless Valley’s newly appointed associate minister.

Revd Lloyd Evans comes to the role at the parishes Lynesack, Cockfield and Evenwood from a long history of working in the world of science.

After studying chemistry at Kings College, in London, he came to Teesdale for the first time in 1982 to work at Glaxo, in Barnard Castle.

He said: “There has never been a problem for me the difference between science and faith – science is the how and faith is the why. As a scientist I find it hard to explain that it [everything in the universe] happened by accident.”

By way of explanation he says if 99 per cent of an atom is nothing, then your hands should pass through each other when you bring them together. That they do not is a type of miracle.

The curate was made redundant after eight years at Galxo and while working on a farm in the dale he decided to retrain as a teacher and attended college at York.

He said: “It was the best decision I could have made.”

He went on to teach science and chemistry at secondary school in Crickhowell, Wales.

He added: “I love blowing things up and it was wonderful. We were very fortunate, the school has a good reputation. It was hard to give it up.”

It was while working at the school that he became ordained as priest in 2015 and served title in three parishes in Swansea and Brecon.

In Wales, he married his wife Marion, although continued to live and work in Teesdale.

Ahead of his retirement in July 2018 Mr Evans wound down by working only part-time at the school.

He said: “One of the things most humbling for me was when I went part-time. There were four applications for my post and a former student was the successful candidate.

“When I retired there were three in the department I had also taught. I can’t put that down to just me, of course, but it is humbling that anyone bothered to listen to me.”

He and his wife bought a home in Butterknowle where they live with a Siamese cat called Squeak, two border terriers and a number of Highland cattle and sheep.

Many parishioners in the area will already know the assistant minister quite well, not only because he spent many years in the dale in his past, but also because he has been helping the vicar Revd Brian Whitely for the past 18 months. He said: “Brian and I get along very well but we do things very differently. Brian is more outgoing and I am more reserved.

“One of our strengths is that we do things differently. I value that difference very much because we spark each other with new ideas.”