Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A New Rector, A New Beginning

Monday 9th September 2013 at 7.30pm in Christ Church - after a year of preparing the benefice profile, wording the advert, shortlisting and selection interviews - now this special service to celebrate the new ministry of Ann Keating as Rector of the Benefice.
Archdeacon Ruth, Ann and Bishop Edward

A peal was rung on the bells to welcome people as they arrived. Local deanery and group clergy were joined in procession by Rural Dean Andrew Evans, Archdeacon of Wiltshire Ruth Worsley and Bishop of Ramsbury Edward Condry, together with our own benefice clergy, local lay ministers and churchwardens.

The service has many parts. Firstly Ann was formally presented as the new parish priest by the Patron and introduced by the Archdeacon; the congregation stated our support for Ann and she accepted the position. Bishop Edward and Ann then moved around the church. First to the font with the Benefice Ministry team and lay pastoral assistants to reflect on God's call to make new disciples, where Ann was presented with a vessel of water to pour into the font.
At the font

At the Arch separating nave and chancel with all who share in the ministry of teaching and preaching in the benefice, Ann was presented with a Bible. Finally at the Sanctuary with all of the clergy present, Ann was presented with a chalice and paten by one of our sacristans. Returning to the chancel step, Ann was welcomed by the members of the Deanery Chapter and presented with a bouquet of flowers by the Benefice Ministry team.
Pat Ellis presents the bouquet

Bishop Edward preached a sermon on serving our community. He likened the church to a swimming pool, which attracts all ages, those learning to swim, those needing relaxation, those wanting to keep fit, and those doing dedicated training laps. In the same way we need to look at our communities and identify their needs and see how we can support them, while being ourselves supported by membership of our benefice.
Bishop Edward preaching the sermon

Next came the formal licensing and taking of oaths by Ann of adherence to the beliefs of the Church of England, allegiance to the Queen and obedience to the Bishop of Salisbury. Archdeacon Ruth then led Ann  to the Church door, where the churchwardens presented Ann with the keys of the benefice churches and a bell was tolled as a sign of the start of Ann's ministry.
Taking the oaths

Former colleagues the Dean of the Chapel of Winchester University, the Rural Dean of Stonehenge Deanery and Team Rector of the Avon River Team Ministry spoke of Ann's gifts and how much she would be missed.
Ann's former colleagues speak of her gifts

Ann was then welcomed into our community by John Potter, Mayor of Bradford-on-Avon, and on behalf of teachers in local schools by Neil Baker, head teacher of Christ Church Primary School, then Colin and Tracy Prudhoe, youth workers from Winsley, on behalf of children, young people and their leaders and finally Mary Gaisford on behalf of Bradford-on-Avon Churches Together.

The hymns were 'Christ triumphant, ever reigning' (organist Chris Cole), 'Brother, Sister, let me serve you' (organist David Mitchell), 'Jesus Christ is waiting' and 'All my days I will sing this song of gladness' (the combined music groups of Winsley and Christ Church) and 'Lord for the years' (organist Michael Cockerham).
Combine music group (a violinist, bass trombonist and piano player are there too!)

All were then welcomed to Christ Church School Hall for refreshments, which included a Welcome cake baked and beautifully decorated by Vivienne Green.
The Welcome cake made by Vivienne Green

And of course a chance for those who have shared Ann's past to meet and talk with those who will share her future. And not forgetting Ann's family - especially husband Malcolm and children James and Amy - for whom it was also a very special occasion. They are very welcome too.
James, Amy, Ann and Malcolm Keating

Last but least - thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this a special occasion (in no particular order as they say): the flower arrangers, the Christ Church Holy Dusters and extra helpers who cleaned and tidied the church, the school catering staff who stayed on for the evening, Parish Administrator Wendy Brown who did all the invitations and printing, the bell ringers, organists and musicians for their skills - and not forgetting Daphne Cox who took these great photos.

Update: Ann Keating was interviewed by the Wiltshire Times - if you didn't manage to see this, follow this Winchester University link to see the text.