New Exmouth and Lympstone reverend sets sights on more accessible church
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:19 09 July 2020
A newly licensed reverend in Exmouth has set his sights on using technology to encourage young adults into church.
The Reverend Steve Jones was officially licenced by the Bishop of Crediton to be the leader of the Littleham cum Exmouth with Lympstone Community – a group of three churches including Holy Trinity.
Mr Jones’ appointment to the role is a homecoming of sorts for the 56-year-old, who is a former Royal Marine trained at the commando centre in Lympstone.
After taking the position, he said one of his main objectives is to make church more accessible, especially for those under the age of 30.
He said: “I think, particularly as we are coming out of the coronavirus crisis, the church has got an opportunity to review how it relates to its community.
“What we are working hard now to do is to make church accessible and understandable for everyone.
“There is great mystery in God but there doesn’t have to be mystery in the church.”
The mission’s churches have been featured on the Exmouth Coastal Churches’ YouTube channel and Rev Jones is hoping to use social media and technology to ‘reach out’ to young people.
Rev Jones’ appointment sees him return to the region where his Royal Marines career started.
Rev Jones said: “It’s just like coming home for me.
“I am an ex-Royal Marine and I came to know Exmouth as a young marine and now I have Lympstone in my mission community.
“I knew and loved Lympstone in my time in the marines.”
Rev Jones was posted at Plymouth for three days before the Falklands war broke out in 1982 and he was shipped to the island at the age of 17.
He spent six years in the Royal Marines and had a short spell as a police officer before qualifying as a barrister at Exeter University.
For the last 10 years he has been in the church ministry in the United States but ‘jumped at the chance’ to return to East Devon.
Rev Jones has already given speeches to the Hunter Troop in Lympstone – a unit for injured marines.
He also hopes to forge close relationships with Exmouth RNLI and the local councils.