I am delighted to have been appointed Rector of Thaxted with the Sampfords and Radwinter with Hempstead. Visiting the parishes on the day of my interview, the unique character of each of the churches was obvious, and to someone with fresh eyes, these sacred spaces tell a powerful story about a witness that has gone on for centuries. By today, this witness to the availability of God’s love, is a joint venture undertaken as one family of five churches; it is an imaginative and practical vision for God’s mission in a contemporary setting. I deem it an immense privilege to have been chosen to work with you in this endeavour and pay tribute to the team of clergy and lay officers who have guided the parishes through the long vacancy in the incumbency, with such dedication and commitment; I am very much looking forward to joining them.
God is full of surprises! I should never have imagined the journey of my life would lead me from my native land, to an area of England totally new to me. I was brought up on Anglesey, in a rural village at the edge of the sea, and when the time came, to university and into professional work as a Chartered Surveyor. Ordination called in 2003 and after a curacy in the Diocese of Liverpool, I was appointed Chaplain to the Archbishop of Wales. In 2009 I ventured north again to serve as a parish priest in the Diocese of Blackburn before returning to the role of Archbishop’s Chaplain. Then in 2014 I was appointed Dean at Llandaff Cathedral – an enormously fulfilling and varied role and I have left many friends there. In June this year I resigned, after taking a painful and challenging stand on an issue about which I felt strongly; like many who look back at the pandemic with a sense of bewilderment and loss, my life changed too under cover of lockdown. But grace does abound – eventually! With this trauma has come a God given opportunity to recalibrate my own sense of vocation and God has, I firmly believe, given light to a new path.
I come therefore to the Benefice grateful and hopeful, excited and humbled. Since being offered the post, our future together is now at the centre of my prayers. I hope you will keep me in your own prayers too, as I prepare to move to Thaxted and to begin a new ministry and chapter in my life.