Coming to Crickhowell is a dream for me, says new rector

By Twm Owen in Local People

RANA KHAN first read about Crickhowell as a schoolboy in Pakistan - while researching how Mount Everest got its name - and is now the new rector of the town’s St Edmund’s Church.

"I was quite little the first time I heard about Crickhowell. I was in year six and we were writing an article on the highest mountains in the world. Two are in the Indian sub-continent," said the Reverend Khan.

"Our teacher asked us to write an article on Mount Everest, and we decided to know more about why it has that name.

"That article told us about Sir George Everest who was the surveyor of the continent, and he was from Crickhowell.

"When I started learning more about Crickhowell that memory was resurrected and I am pretty sure that, as a child, he would have come to St Edmund’s Church. So even before I’d heard about UK and Wales, I knew about Crickhowell."

It has been a long journey for Rana, Rector of Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower and St Catwg Ministry Area Leader of a team of over 20 people in 10 churches stretching all the way to Brynmawr, who has arrived in mid Wales via Vehari, a small town in South Punjab, Lahore and London.

He trained for the priesthood in Karachi and, after 10 years in the Diocese of Lahore, he was invited by then-Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to join the team at Lambeth Palace.

During his time in Lahore, he also worked in urban and rural parishes. He met his wife Moseena who was a Sunday school teacher in Lahore. The couple have three sons, aged 15, 14 and 11.

Rev Rana said: "I think that story has repeated in my life in our move to Crickhowell. It is not just an opportunity for me to contribute to the life of this community in Crickhowell and in this ministry area but I very strongly feel what an amazing experience this is going to be for me, for my wife and for us as a family, our children, to be in such a lovely community and with such a lot of opportunities for a mission.

"We are enjoying it. The people here are lovely and caring and there is a deep sense of community.

"All these 10 churches have their own distinct features and I can see there is a lot we can do here. There is still, every day, someone knocking at the door with flowers or a card. People are welcoming, showing us warmth and concern which is a great thing."

Peter Madley, who is a licensed reader at the church and who has helped take services while St Edmund’s has been without a rector for the past 18 months, said a special induction service had been held for Rev Khan.

He said: "I think over 300 people attended as he is the area leader people from all over the valley came to support him. We are delighted to have Rev Khan."

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