SUTTON’s real-life vicar has come face-to-face with her fictional counterpart.

The Rev Helen Collings met local actress Alison Waters who will play the famous Vicar of Dibley in the village next month.

Alison will don the cassock at Sutton Village Hall on September 9 and 10 for the Green Hut Theatre Company’s stage adaptation of the popular BBC sitcom.

Just 100 yards away at St Thomas’s Church the Rev Collings is already used to winning over the parishioners of a little village since arriving last October.

Mrs Collings took over the duties at St Thomas's Church, Holy Trinity Church, Cowling, and Christ Church, Lothersdale, a year after the retirement of long-time vicar the Rev Michael Cowgill.

Mrs Collings came to the South Craven parishes long after the battles were fought to allow women to become clergy in the Church of England.

The Vicar of Dibley, meanwhile, was written in the 1990s when many Anglican congregations were still wary of centuries-old traditions being sacrificed to make way for – as the script says – “vicars in high heels”.

Mrs Collings was priest-in-charge at St Catherine's Church in Sandal, near Wakefield, for six years before moving to Sutton and taking two services each Sunday morning.

On her arrival she found three “lovely communities” with a real heart of people, and said she wanted all three churches to reach out to the community.

Mrs Collings was born and grew in Barnsley and spent ten years as a secondary school teacher at Oxfordshire, where she met her husband, Simon.Their daughters girls Hannah and Hayley attend Sutton Community Primary School.

Alison Waters, from Eastburn, has played leading roles in many stage productions for the Green Hut Theatre Company.

The Vicar Of Dibley will be staged each night, from 7.15pm. Tickets cost £9, including supper, by emailing or calling 01535 632289.