When I arrived at The Open Door centre in High Barnet to meet Christ Church Barnet's new vicar, Revd Andy Rimmer, cafe volunteers were eagerly awaiting the lunchtime rush.

And when the rush started, I could scarcely hear my interviewee over the sounds of old friends chatting over their food, children playing in a colourful plastic house and the ringing of the bell to signal a new order ready to serve.

The centre, which aims to support the elderly and families in the area by providing space for community groups, is one of the newest community projects the church has been involved in.

And Barnet's new kid on the block is already excited about all that he feels God has in store for the community.

"We want to be a church which is a community, but is also in the community, working for it,” Revd Rimmer said.

"We are on the edge of Barnet - the church on the way out of town - which will be a challenge. “But it is part of the challenge to work out how we can connect with people."

Revd Rimmer and his wife, Mary, moved to Barnet after spending 12 years at a church in Poole, Dorset, before which they were based in a church in Portsmouth for nine years. So they aren't strangers to moving into a new area and making it their own.

But their focus is not only on the goings-on of the church inside its four walls, but the way it could make a difference in the outside world. In the case of Revd Rimmer, he was chaplain at Portsmouth FC and Bournemouth FC and already he is bringing some footballing star-power to the borough - on January 30, Barnet legend Linvoy Primus will be hosted for an evening of questions about faith and the sporting world.

"I am very involved in football,” he said.

“Most of the clubs do have a chaplain but I would have described myself as a pastoral and spiritual safety net when I was there.

"I saw Bournemouth go from a lower league to the Premier League - it has certainly been a fascinating journey."

Outside of sport, Revd Rimmer is passionate to see the church involved in the community in tangible ways - whether it be working with homeless in Barnet, doing more with the foodbank which already exists in the church, helping the elderly through The Open Door centre or just support families in a society which regularly feels the pressures of juggling London working life with domestic bliss.

He is evidently passionate and effusive about the area, saying it possesses all the charm of a village-esque community in London (he said: "you can escape to Hertfordshire for some countryside or jump on the tube and head to the city just as easily.")

The father-of-four hopes that in time, the church will be able to meet the needs of those in the community, and one way to do that is to find out what they really need.

"One of the things we are hoping to do is a survey of High Barnet and see what people need and how do we make Barnet a better place to live.

"There are not immediate needs in High Barnet that jump out but within a mil there is Dollis Valley. But within the community there will be people who are lonely, which is a challenge, but also a sense of crazy busyness and the need to meet certain expectations."

One thing is for certain - Revd Rimmer is clearly one who embraces change and new challenges - so there's no telling how these needs will be met by Christ Church in the years to come.