A vicar has praised the fact that six members of his congregation will be training to be vicars in the autumn.
St Nics in Durham has achieved a virtually unheard-of record by having so many people from a single parish recommended for training. The six include five women and one man, with four of the total in their twenties.
Rev Arun Arora, the vicar of St Nics told Premier: "It's fantastic. We really are celebrating, I mean usually at St Nics it may well be that we'd have on average one or two people a year...but this year a really has been a work of the Holy Spirit."
When asked if it was something the church had actively sought, he responded: "We encourage people to engage with their discipleship and their spiritual growth across a wide range of different activities. It's not just about people being ordained. We have people training as readers, we have people training as pastoral assistants, we have people in their workplaces being fantastic disciples of Christ and engaging with the places where they are and talking about their faith. [They're] supporting others in prayer. It's about recognising gifts of God in all of the people of God."
The future vicars from the evangelical family church will start training for ordination in October.
Mary Yasini, 21, fled Iran with her family when she as eight-years-old out of fear of religious persecution. She will be one of the youngest priests in the Church of England when she finishes. Sarah Garland, 23, Ben Coleman, 24, and Rachel Price, 25 have all done postgraduate study at the University of Durham. Sarah Heslop, 43, is a trained teacher and mum. Jenny Guilder, 33, is a full-time mother of two.
All have taken on roles at St Nics, from leading Messy Church services, doing student ministry, preaching and children's work.
The candidates will train in various colleges, including Westcott House in Cambridge, Trinity College in Bristol, Cranmer Hall in Durham, Lindisfarne College of Theology and St Melitus College in Liverpool.
"Each of these has been a wonderful blessing to us in our life as a church but many of them will stay in the Diocese of Durham and they'll be a blessing to the wider church." Rev Arora said.