THE new vicar at Accrington's New Jerusalem Church will swap teaching for preaching when he takes over the role next month.
The Rev Alan Lewin has been a primary school teacher for 20 years and still helps out in schools on a part-time basis. He is also the minister of the New Jerusalem Church in Heywood near Rochdale.
He said: "Life is all about meeting new people and learning from them and finding out different things, whether it's in a classroom or in the church."
Mr Lewin, 50, completed his training at New Church College in Manchester and went on to become a minister at Kearsley near Bolton. He lives in Whitefield in Manchester and is married to Diane and they have three children Joel, Rebecca and Ruth. He has also worked in London and Cornwall.
He has long-standing connections with Accrington - his grandparents Mr and Mrs John and Hilda Holme used to run a paper shop in Nuttall Street, Accrington around 50 years ago, and his parents Renee and Rupert were members of the church.
He said: "I was brought up in the New Church because my family were all church people so I've always been interested in the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. When I studied his work I was very impressed by what he had to say about life and doing what is right."
Mr Lewin will be officially installed as the new minister during a ceremony on Sunday 26 January by the senior minister the Rev Ian Russell.