A rector who first learned about Norfolk agriculture while working at an animal feed mill has become the new rural affairs advisor to the Bishop of Norwich.

The Rev Dr Tim Weatherstone said his first job in the county was as a chemist at the Duffields mill at Saxlingham, near Norwich, which sparked a deep love of rural Norfolk.

"That was my introduction to many things agricultural,” he said.

“There is something very special about Norfolk and its natural environment.

"It has to do with beauty not so much in the unusual or the majestic, but in the way all of it - the variety and immensity of the green-ness of the land, the huge skies, the quality of the air - works together to create something extraordinary in the everyday."

Mr Weatherstone's new role, alongside his work as a rector and rural dean, includes keeping the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, abreast of agricultural and environmental issues.

He will also help with research and work with the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Jane Steen, on the church’s ministry to people living in country parishes.

Mr Weatherstone said it was a privilege to be asked to serve as the bishop’s advisor.

“Those who work on or with the land love what they do, where they do it and it is right that the Christian church in every corner of our diocese seeks to fully understand the challenges they face and the insights they bring,” he said.

“I hope to be able to be something of a conduit for our shared vision of enabling our rich landscape to be a place of Christian peace and flourishing."

Mr Weatherstone moved to the countryside when he was appointed to the Barnham Broom and Upper Yare benefice – including 15 churches and around 3,000 people, between Dereham and Wymondham.

“Over the last 13 or so years it has been such a privilege to renew my connections with farmers, farms and farming,” he said.

He lives in Reymerston, near Dereham, with his wife Mary, a pharmacist and church lay reader. They have four children and one grandchild.