ST JAMES the Great Church in Dursley has welcomed a new curate to the parish. The deacon has trained most of her life to work in the church but as Gazette reporter CLAIRE MARSHALL found, she is not your average curate.

SINCE the age of five Skye Denno knew she wanted to work for God. First she thought she might like to be a missionary helping people in India and Africa, but she eventually got her calling to work in the Anglican church and in June this year she was ordained as a deacon and joined St James’ Church, for what she calls her ‘apprenticeship’.

But some people were surprised to find their new curate was a young, vibrant, woman wearing punk inspired clothes and sporting a nose ring.

"I forget when I meet people that they might be surprised by the way I look. Sometimes people are a little taken aback when they first see me," said Skye, a mother-of-two.

"I just hope that it isn’t all people see. I want people to remember me for the things I do not what I look like.

"I think that being the way I am makes it easier reaching out to young people, they can maybe relate to me more."

Skye and her husband Joel, a writer, moved to Dursley in June with their two children Sophia, five and Fenix, three, and Skye says they feel at home here as she lived in Gloucester for some time.

"I absolutely love it in Dursley. At St James there is a real sense of support from the community and everybody knows it as Dursley’s church."

Her life revolves around the church but in her spare time the 29-year-old enjoys working on acrylic paintings, creating both landscape and abstract work.

Skye is also a budding musician, playing the guitar, piano and violin, and is inspired by the punk and gothic movements – her music tastes range from Christian hymns to punk bands such as The Cure. But she says the church is where she wants to be until she retires.

"I think I love working for the church because every day is different. Also, other than working for God you are really your own boss and it is nice to have that freedom.

Skye continued: "I love meeting people. I do like a drink down the pub and it is a great place to chat to local people. I think having a dog collar on gives people to permission to share things with you."