UP CLOSE: Rev Ana Lawrence, rector of Street with Walton and Compton Dundon

  Posted: 04.05.21 at 12:33 by Tim Lethaby

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Street Nub News aims to be supportive to every element of the community from business and shops to people and charities and clubs and sports organisations.

Everyone is finding it tough at the moment and is desperate to get back to normal.

We are profiling some of these local businesses and groups regularly over coming weeks in a feature called UP CLOSE IN STREET in the hope that we can be a supportive springboard for their full return to business as usual.

Today we talk to Rev Ana Lawrence, rector of Street with Walton and Compton Dundon, who talks about how she is looking forward to seeing people face-to-face again as lockdown restrictions are eased, and discusses the issues created by the pandemic.

During a Q and A session she also talks about what she has enjoyed locally as a new resident moving to the area.


Have you always lived in the Street area and if not, what were the key considerations about moving here?

Street is a new place for me following a move from Shropshire in July 2020 (although I’m originally a Watford girl). I was looking for a new post as a vicar and was open minded as to where that might be.

When I saw the job in Street, I was very excited as it seemed to tick many boxes. As a Christian, I try to follow where I believe God is leading me and that certainly seemed to be Street!

Tell us a bit about your personal background Ana and how you ended up becoming rector of Street with Walton and Compton Dundon?

I have a background in education having been a violin and viola teacher in schools for many years. During that time, I was called by God to the ordained ministry, this led to theological training in Nottingham and time as a ‘curate’ near Wolverhampton.

What do you like about the Street area? How has your role got you involved in the local community?

I love Street and it’s great to be part of a thriving community, though moving to a new place in the midst of a global pandemic has been challenging. Nonetheless, I’ve met (virtually or face to face) some wonderful people and community organisations and I’m looking forward to meeting many more.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on many businesses and organisations - what impact has it had on your work?

Due to the pandemic, I have spent too much of my working life talking to a computer screen. It will be good to meet more people face to face when it becomes possible again.

Although, as for most other people, church has been very different during the pandemic, meeting online and staying in touch via phone, etc. Some have found ‘digital church’ a challenge but it’s also been good to welcome new people.

What is the best thing about being involved with the Benefice of Street, Walton and Compton Dundon?

I love the diversity – with a larger community in Street, with the facilities of a small town. to our smaller communities in Walton and Compton Dundon. Most of all I love working among the people whom I serve, it is a real privilege and joy to serve God and work with his people in these lovely places.

The lockdown has been very difficult for many people - how do you think that the Street area has coped?

I have been aware of great community support for one another throughout the lockdown months, providing practical help and a listening ear. Loneliness and isolation have been real issues and yet people have reached out and tried to stay connected where possible.

If there was one thing in the area you would change, what would it be?

A question with an answer guaranteed to upset someone! However, wouldn’t it be great to have a bypass around Walton?

Street and the area around it is beautiful - what is your favourite place and why?

I love the local nature reserves and seeing the murmurations for the first time last winter was amazing.

If you could have a famous person play you in a movie about your life, who would it be and why?

I have been told that I look like Jodie Whitaker (Dr Who) which is very flattering as she is a lot younger than me, so I reckon I’d want her to play me in a movie.

Go to the Benefice of Street, Walton and Compton Dundon website:

Check out the Benefice of Street, Walton and Compton Dundon website here.


Check out our previous Up Close profiles:

Katy Quinn, principal of Strode College

Paul Reddick, head teacher of Crispin School

Gay Puddy of Puddy's cafe and bakery

Chris Davis, centre director of Clarks Village

Would you like to be the subject of an UP CLOSE profile or do you know someone who we should feature? Contact [email protected]

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