From dog rescuer to ‘dog collar’ - ex policewoman and air-hostess is inducted as Vicar for Sleaford villages

The Rev Christine Goldsmith (centre) pictured at her induction with district and county councillor Marianne Overton,left, and Daphne Page (member of PCC, St Swithin's Church, Leadenham). Images supplied.
The Rev Christine Goldsmith (centre) pictured at her induction with district and county councillor Marianne Overton,left, and Daphne Page (member of PCC, St Swithin's Church, Leadenham). Images supplied.

From policewoman and air-hostess to dog rescuer, refugee supporter and vicar - the Rev Goldsmith has helped both humans and creatures great and small in her various roles.

Christine Goldsmith has recently been inducted and installed as rector for the Leadenham plurality - which includes Welbourn and Brant Broughton.

The Rev Christine Goldsmith pictured with some of the refugee children she supported.

The Rev Christine Goldsmith pictured with some of the refugee children she supported.

She returned to the UK after living in Cyprus just three weeks ago - but says she is ‘pleased to be back’. The Standard caught up with Christine to talk about her interesting life - which lead to her calling to the church.

Having begun her career in Surrey as a police cadet, Christine later became a police constable - but left the force after she was assaulted in the line of duty and had her arm broken.

She later went to work for British Airways as an air hostess, progressing from there through various roles with the airline, to become duty manager for BAA Heathrow.

This was a role she described as ‘wonderful’ - and enabled her to meet numerous high-profile figures, including Nelson Mandela and the Queen.

The Rev Christine Goldsmith with one of the dogs she rescued in Cyprus.

The Rev Christine Goldsmith with one of the dogs she rescued in Cyprus.

In 2006, she and husband Rick moved to Cyprus.

“We left the UK with three dogs and I quickly realised the animal welfare in Cyprus is appalling,” she said. “There were stray dogs everywhere with thousands being put down every year. It was obvious there was not enough being done to help them, so I decided to set up my own rescue centre called Cyprus Visla Rescue - and we rehomed and rehabilitated 225 dogs over 10 years - the majority of which ended up with UK families.

“A friend of mine took over the running of the centre when I left, and I still keep in touch with many of the families who took our dogs on.”

Between the years 2013-2014, Christine said she experienced the plight of refugees risking their lives to travel to Cyprus from war-torn countries in the Middle East.

Christine pictured with vets in Cyprus and a number of puppies she helped to rescue.

Christine pictured with vets in Cyprus and a number of puppies she helped to rescue.

“It was obvious that there wasn’t a lot being done by the churches out there for the plight of the refugees,” she said. “I just felt that I should do something, so I worked to bring the volunteers and the refugees together in a co-ordinated effort, to make sure vital supplies such as nappies and baby milk were getting to those in urgent need.”

Feeling a divine call to join the ministry, she was ordained in Cyprus in 2015.

She added: “Here in my new role I am called to serve the people and communities of the parishes I am now responsible for. I believe God has called myself and my husband Rick to these parishes and look forward to what He has planned for us.”

This car-load of Visla dogs were among the many pooches Christine rescued while living in Cyprus.

This car-load of Visla dogs were among the many pooches Christine rescued while living in Cyprus.