Since the departure of the Revd Canon Barry Oake to become Chaplain at the Great Hospital in Norwich in July 2015, a state of interregnum has existed at our church. We have been extremely well cared for since that time by the Revd David Smith, our Assistant Curate. He has devoted huge amounts of time to the needs of the Parish in every way and we are extremely grateful to him.
Fr David Smith is appointed to East Harling
We were therefore both saddened and delighted to announce, at the beginning of this year, that Fr David had been appointed to the post of Priest-in-Charge of the Harling United Benefice. We were sad to lose him after his wonderful work in the last 9 months but absolutely delighted for Fr David and his family. Fr David’s last day in the Parish was Sunday 13th March and the churches joined together to celebrate Eucharist and ensure that Fr David and his family left us with every good wish for the future. His love and guidance will not be forgotten and acknowledgment of this was clear at the door of the church as so many people queued to wish him well before they departed. We had to drag him away to cut the wonderful cake made by Olga!
Fr David’s installation takes place at the Parish Church of SS Peter & Paul, East Harling on April 20th and already we have a coach of nearly 50 people wanting to go along and see this wonderful occasion marking the beginning of his new ministry.
A new chapter begins
So what about the new Rector for Thorpe St Andrew? The search began with advertisements online as well as in the Church Times. On Monday 7 March, interviews, conducted by the Archdeacon of Norwich, the Ven Jan McFarlane, Olga and Lesley, our Churchwardens, took place and they were delighted that a decision was able to be made at the end of the afternoon. Some likened it to waiting for white smoke to appear from the hosting venue of the Old Rectory! No details were able to be released until Sunday 13 March when, at the combined service of both the Parish Church, Good Shepherd and Cafe Church, it was announced that Revd James Stewart had been successful. He is currently Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich.
So, a fresh chapter in the history of Thorpe St Andrew begins to emerge and we very much look forward to the installation of Fr James Stewart as our new Rector. The date, at the time of writing, is yet to be finalised but we will keep you informed on our website thorpeparishchurch.org
The Churchwardens thank everyone in the Parish who have offered prayers for them - that they might be supported, guided and given the wisdom to choose our new Rector.
Thanks to so many people
The Churchwardens want to take this opportunity to continue to thank everyone who has come forward to offer ongoing assistance with the many jobs required within the church from cleaning to administration and finance work. New teams have formed which has been so good to see. Their help is invaluable and we would love to name everyone involved but there are just too many! An acknowledge with thanks is appropriate also and must be given to Sally and Chris Entwhistle who kindly loaned the Old Rectory restaurant on Yarmouth Road and looked after everyone so well on March 7th — their hospitality was wonderful.
Final note — just for now!
The churches are united together and we all look forward to a bright and exciting future with Revd James Stewart building on the strong foundations carved out by previous Rectors and, latterly the Assistant Curate, Revd David Smith.