The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton of Bridgeport recently began duties as interim rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 71 River Street, Milford. He plans to serve a brief period until the church calls its next rector.

Leighton replaces the Rev. Cynthia Knapp, priest-in-charge, who has been named rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Macon, Ga.

For the past 17 years, Leighton was rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien. A Boston native, he graduated in 1979 from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. From 1979 to 1994 he ministered in the Pittsburgh area at All Saints, Aliquippa and then at St. David’s, Peter’s Township. He was also priest-in-charge of Church of the Transfiguration, Clairton, and of Messiah in Sheridan.

Leighton served the Diocese of Pittsburgh as chairman of the New Church Committee from 1985 to 1994, during which time he helped start nine new churches. Before Darien he was rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Mass., from 1994 to 1998.

“My sharing about myself should include my wife, Janet, who has stuck it out with me for 45 years,” he said. “It has been Jesus and Janet, in that order, for a long time, and it only gets better. We have four children and 12 grandchildren.”

He added that two of his children are in the clergy. “Our daughter, Deborah, is a canon at the Cathedral of the Advent in Birmingham, Al. Our son, Alexander, serves as associate rector at All Saints’ in Woodbridge, Va.”

He likes to exercise, travel, cook, paint, read and raise dogs.

Leighton has been busy for the last year and a half since moving to Bridgeport. He helped bring 50 churches together for a Luis Palau Festival, June 6-7, 2015, at the Webster Bank Arena and Ballpark at Harbor Yard. “Several thousand people came to hear the renowned evangelist, and I have worked with a dozen churches in an ongoing way to bring the gospel of Christ to the neighborhoods of the city,” he said.