DRESSED in jeans and a hoodie, Dan Harman doesn’t look like your everyday church pastor.
But the 28-year-old is gearing up for life behind the altar at City Life Church, in Tangier Road, Copnor, after he beat 11 other candidates double his age to the post.
And Dan, who was previously the baptist church’s youth pastor before landing the role last month, will surprise many with his love of rock music.
Dan said: ‘I could never see myself in robes and a dog collar. I feel more comfortable in a pair of jeans and a hoodie.
‘Our slogan at the church is “come as you are”.
‘We welcome everyone from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter what you look like.
‘I love rock music and bands like U2.
‘For me, it wasn’t about beating the other candidates, or being better than them.
‘It was more about being the right person at the right time. It doesn’t faze me that I’m younger than most vicars. The leadership team saw me as the right man because I have a real passion for the community here.’
Dan, who grew up in Copnor Road, attended Hampstead Bible College and is currently studying for a degree in Theology and Religion at the University of Chichester. He is sharing his pastoral duties at the church with his wife Laura, 28.
One of their first tasks has been to listen to people’s views about the proposed Southern Co-operative funeral parlour in Tangier Road.
Dan said: ‘We’ve been having a chat with shop owners and people living in the area.
‘People have very strong opinions about it, and you can definitely see both sides. But I know how I would feel if I was living right next to where they want to put it. I have a three-year-old daughter Talia to think about.’
The church, formerly known as Tangier Road Baptist Church, was rebranded before Christmas in a bid to attract people from across the city. Dan added: ‘Laura and I had prayed a lot about applying for the role. From the age of 15 I knew I wanted to lead my own church at some stage in my life. I passionately believe that church is about working together as a family, as a team and as a community of people. When a community is united amazing stuff can happen.’
For more information about City Life Church visit myclc.org.uk