As a female vicar in a small, rural parish, Reverend Yvonne Hobson might have expected to find a few doubters in her flock. But there has been little of the good natured grumbling displayed by parishioners in the BBC's The Vicar of Dibley when a woman priest turned up.
Instead, Mrs Hobson has been the subject of a hate campaign because of her sex - which culminated in an apparent arson attack. The vicar, 54, took up her post at a 15th century church in the seaside village of Paul, Cornwall, in July 2006.
For almost a year, she had few problems with her 100-strong congregation. Then she began receiving anonymous letters expressing hatred for women priests. They were sent to her home, to the church and left in the vestry there.
Police were called in to investigate. And last month, after a particularly frightening letter, Bill Ind, the Bishop of Truro, launched an appeal for information from the pulpit. Weeks later, a fire was started in the log basket on the porch of Mrs Hobson's £350,000 vicarage, near Newlyn. Someone had left a candle burning in the logs, in what police believe was a symbolic act.
The fire service had to be called to extinguish it.
Mrs Hobson said: "The whole thing started about five months ago. It has been very difficult and the police are now involved."