New Vicar of Preston will bring a completely new style to Minster

The new Vicar of Preston, Rev Sam Haigh, with wife Hannah.
The new Vicar of Preston, Rev Sam Haigh, with wife Hannah.

Former car mechanic Sam Haigh is to be the new Vicar of Preston.

And the 33-year-old will lead a £1.5m faith revolution in the city which will see the historic Minster converted to host “contemporary” services, complete with guitars, drums and keyboard.

The radical change of style will be introduced in September when the Church of England launches its campaign to re-invigorate the Minster and its sister church St George the Martyr.

The focus will be on reaching out to people under-25 - in particular the huge student population at the University of Central Lancashire.

“We are really excited and looking forward to moving to Preston,” said Rev Haigh, who is married to Hannah. The couple have five children.

“There is such a sense of optimism, growth, life and energy within Preston.”

The emphasis on a relaxed “Alpha Christian” style of worship at the Minster, will be balanced by a concentration on more traditional services at St George’s, off Lune Street.

“There will be a significant shift, particularly at the Minster,” said Rev Haigh. “

We will be employing a worship leader who will lead at the Minster with guitars, drums, keyboard, the full shebang. Services will be quite contemporary, quite relevant.”

Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, said: “It’s really good news for Preston. But it is going to be quite a change for the congregation at the Minster.

"I’ve got to say they have been incredibly brave and sacrificial about this.”