‘Exciting time’ forecast as Upper Skerne churches welcome two new clergy
Church members and well-wishers from many parts of the North East flocked to St Edmund’s Church, Sedgefield, this week to celebrate the institution and induction of a new Team Rector and the licensing of a new Team Vicar in the parish of the Upper Skerne.
The service was led by the Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd. Paul Butler, who described the occasion as “a very exciting moment in the life of the parish”.
New Team Rector is the Revd. Geoffrey Short, who comes to the parish from the Diocese of Newcastle where he was Team Vicar of Christ the King in the North Tyneside village of Wideopen. He replaces the Revd. Michael Gobbett who left Sedgefield more than two years ago to become Rector of Whitby with Ruswarp in the Diocese of York.
New Team Vicar is the Revd. Elizabeth Bland, formerly Team Vicar in the Great Aycliffe Team ministry, who has been appointed to a half-time post. She takes over from the Revd. Michael Thompson who retired in August.
Their arrival in the community has been warmly welcomed by church members throughout the parish which includes the villages of Fishburn, the Trimdons and Bishop Middleham.
Typical of the comments at the induction service was that by parish warden Brian Mutch who said: “The ministry team has done a sterling job in very challenging circumstances during the past two years and we are now looking forward to working with Geoff and Elizabeth to grow our churches and to make them more attractive to the wider community, particularly our young people”
The new Rector has already moved into Sedgefield Rectory on Durham Road. The Team Vicar will make her home at the Vicarage at Trimdon Grange.
The induction service saw the Rector having his hand placed on the entrance door to St Edmund’s by the Archdeacon of Auckland, the Ven. Rick Simpson, and presented with a set of keys to the church before he caused the church bell to be rung to signify his acceptance of responsibility for the pastoral care for parishioners. Both he and the Team Vicar were then formally welcomed by representatives of other ecumenical partners, civic dignitaries and the local community.
During the service, the Team Rector and Team Vicar were each presented with a unique stained glass cross for their new homes made by the Bishop’s wife to mark the double celebration.
Open invitation to meet Sedgefield’s new Rector
Sedgefield’s new Rector, the Revd. Geoffrey Short, has issued an open invitation to the local community to meet him for tea or coffee at the Rectory in Durham Road on Saturday, January 19, as part of his ‘getting to know you’ exercise.
Geoff has made it clear that he is keen to meet as many locals as possible, whether they are members of any local church or not, as soon as possible.
The Rectory will be open from 10.30am until 2.30pm. No appointment is necessary.
Article courtesy of Ron Eyley
Page added 4th January 2019