The Rev Martin Allwood will become the Vicar of six parishes near Malton at a ceremony led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
He will be instituted as the vicar of Amotherby, Appleton-le-Street, Barton-le-Street, Coneysthorpe, Hovingham, Scackleton, and Slingsby at All Saints Church, Hovingham, today at 7.30pm.
The previous incumbent, the Rev Beryl Bowes, retired in 2012.
Rev Allwood arrives in Ryedale via Swaziland and north Suffolk.
Born in Swaziland in 1971, he moved to South Africa at a young age. A degree in Agricultural Horticulture in Natal followed, before a move to the United Kingdom in 2001.
Rev Allwood said: “Lots of people in my family have served the church, and I didn’t want to become a priest just for the sake of family tradition. I tried desperately to ignore any sense that this might be where God would want me to go, but all through my working experience, I discovered that it wasn’t the work that interested me but the desire to help and serve the people I met.
“I enjoyed working in agriculture but felt that God was calling me to something more.
“I love living and working in the countryside and my particular skills draw me to serve Christ within this environment.
“I bring a wealth of experience from life across two continents, much of which has been gained in rural areas. I have been drawn to the beauty that is Yorkshire, particularly in its similarity to some of the South African countryside I grew up in – although there’s more rain here!
“As resources move away from the countryside, I want to add my support to those trying to be good stewards of our resources and heritage for generations to come, as they try to address communities’ needs in a difficult social and economic climate.
“Above all I hope I can let Christ’s light bring glimmers of hope into people’s lives.”
Rev Allwood is married to Colleen, and enjoys walking his two dogs, going on camping holidays, and seeking good excuses to get out his kayak and go paddling.