After Rev. Canon Anne Gell’s departure to become the Archdeacon of Wells, the parish of St Peter’s finds itself in what is called a ‘Vacancy’. This is the Church of England process by which a new Vicar is found. The process can be lengthy – it can take nine months or more – but is designed to enable the parish to think about where it is, where it would like to go and therefore what sort of person it would like to lead it.
The Parochial Church Council plays a vital part and is charged with producing a document called the ‘Parish Profile and Statement of Needs’ which describes the parish and its vision for the future. A start has already been made, the PCC having met on the 19th April to discuss a first draft, and again on the 24th May, this time with the Archdeacon and Area Dean in attendance to advise and guide. A final document will then be produced, hopefully by the middle of June, which will go to the Bishop of Guildford (who is patron of St Peter’s) and will set off the formal process of publicising the position; assessing candidates; producing a shortlist and arranging interviews. These last are likely to happen in October (the summer months unfortunately intervening when not much can be expected to happen) with an appointment hopefully made before Christmas and the appointee arriving probably in the first quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile things will continue in and around the church as normal. We are very fortunate to have our Associate Minister, Rev. Sandy Cavalier, who will lead most of the services, with visiting clergy filling in when she is away or not available. One of the principles of the Vacancy is that nothing of any significance may change and this applies to church services, policies and most routine matters.
If you have any queries or concerns about the Vacancy or the process or would like to contribute to the ‘Statement of Needs’ discussion, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us (via the contact us page). A Vacancy is a common occurrence in the Church of England and very often people find that it can have a positive effect in that it can bring the church community together in mutual support. Let us hope and pray that this happens here in Wrecclesham over the next few months.
Christopher Ellis & Lizzy Hendry, Churchwardens