A former stockbroker in the City of London, whose life changed dramatically after a year’s sabbatical in Africa, has been appointed priest in charge of a Bingley church.

The Reverend Beverley Mason has become priest in charge of All Saints after leaving the role of vicar at St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, in the Diocese of Southwark, Before that the Rev Mason was a stockbroker in the City of London, but changed to a life in the church after travelling through Africa during a year’s sabbatical.

She said: “I saw much of life and death during this time, from Rwandan refugees escaping the genocide in Rwanda, the starving in Ethiopia and people suffering with Aids in southern Africa. It was on Table Mountain, at the end of what had become a ‘faith odyssey’, that I committed my life to God.”

She returned to the UK and became a fundraiser for Christian charities before pursuing a vocation to the priesthood. She studied theology at Chichester and then Trinity College, Bristol, and was ordained in 2001.

She said: “I met the most brilliant group of people who really want to do church and be church in Bingley and I am so looking forward to working with them. And the Dales are an added bonus.”

The Bishop of Bradford the Right Reverend Nick Baines said: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Bev to the Diocese of Bradford. She’s a very creative, hardworking and able priest.”

Her licensing will take place at the church from 3pm on Saturday, April 28.