New Houghton teen could be first church apprentice in the country

Rev David Fudger with teenager Jessica Liffen who has become an administrator at St Peter and St Paul's Parish Church, Mansfield

Rev David Fudger with teenager Jessica Liffen who has become an administrator at St Peter and St Paul's Parish Church, Mansfield

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A teenager who has been taken on by a Mansfield church as a business apprentice could be the only one of her kind in the country.

Jessica Liffen, who is just 17, has been taken on as an apprentice administrator at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in the town centre where she is splitting her time working between the church and the adjoining community centre.

From New Houghton, she landed the role at the start of the year through West Notts College.

“I did not know what I wanted to do at first, I did travel and tourism but decided I didn’t like it and looked for an apprenticeship,” the former Shirebrook Academy student said.

“I saw this and it seemed very interested and varied.

“It’s going really well, I’m really enjoying it.

“At the moment of I’m doing a bit of everything - admin work in the community centre, advertising work in the church and dealing with customers and taking calls.

“I think I’m the first teenager to have an apprenticeship in a church, maybe in the country - I certainly don’t know of anyone else!”

She will work a 35 hour week for the rest of the year, but there are hopes that enough funding can be found, she may be taken on for a further 12 months.

“I’d like to do this full time but it’s difficult with a church, a lot of it is voluntary.”

St Peter and St Paul’s Rev David Fudger added: “She is really excited by the prospect because it’s business administration, which she wants to do.

“It’s great to have a young person with vision, drive and ambition.

“It’s unusual to have someone so young, it’s normally curates who are taken on for training.”