The Interregnum

Interregnum  News Issue 2

We travel the Interregnum road together

with courage, compassion and

in a spirit of contemplation of future opportunity

We have nothing new to report in this second of our occasional newsletters devoted to interregnum issues but would like to provide a reminder and further details of the arrangements for the church members and stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday 5th September in the Parish Church.

The meeting will be led by the Rev’d Charles Chadwick who is Parish Development Advisor for our Archdeaconry and he has suggested we come together at 7pm for refreshments with formal proceedings starting at 7:30 pm. We aim to conclude by 9:30 pm.

He has a considerable experience in enabling parishes draw up creative and interesting profiles. The aims of our time together are as follows:

  1. To come together as church and community to discern the future under God.
  2. To thank God for all that is good and creative in the life of the parish.
  3. To learn how an Anglo-Catholic parish might express itself in the 21st century
  4. To respond to Bishop Steven Croft’s call to be contemplative, compassionate and courageous and consider how this might develop in the parish over the next five years.
  5. To identify any other issues that those drawing up the profile need to bear in mind.
  6. To enable people to be clear about the whole appointment process.

We shall be working in small groups and as a plenary and what is produced at the evening will form an important part of the profile.

Given how rarely we have had vacancies in this parish-we’ve only had three parish priests/incumbents since 1961- we hope as many people as possible will do everything they can to join us.

 Another purpose of this newsletter is to inform you of the individuals and organisations the Churchwardens identified as stakeholders.  They are:

The Area Dean, Lay Chair of the Deanery Synod, Mayor and members of the Town Council, The Community of St Mary the Virgin, Betjeman Society, Royal British Legion. Royal Naval Association. Royal Airforce Association, and Sweatbox.

Letters have also been sent to the Vale Academy Trust and all local schools, namely King Alfred’s, Wantage C of E Primary, Charlton Primary, Stockham Primary and Fitzwaryn School inviting them to be represented.

There is a very real risk that we have forgotten an organisation so if you can identify a glaring omission please let one of the Churchwardens know.


Interregnum  News Issue 1

We travel the Interregnum road together

with courage, compassion and

in a spirit of contemplation of future opportunity

This is the first of what will be an irregular series of newsletters to try to keep you abreast of developments during the interregnum and our search for a new Parish Priest.

The churchwardens had two productive meetings at Diocesan Church House on Monday 16th July, the first of these was with the Rev’d Charles Chadwick, the Parish Development Adviser for our Archdeaconry. You may remember he came to preach in our churches a while ago and he will be “holding our hands” throughout the process.

We discussed the major steps we must negotiate and touched on timescales. Once the formal process commenced, there is a rigid and very tight timetable.  The clear message is that we need to “get our ducks in a row” before we ask for the starting gun to be fired to set this formal process in motion.

The first step is to hold a meeting of all stakeholders. In addition to the congregations, other organisations with which we interact will be involved, e.g. Town Council, School, British Legion and similar organisations in the Town. The meeting will be led by the Rev’d Chadwick with a talk from the Rev’d Peter Groves from Oxford who will talk about an Anglo-Catholic parish in and for the 21st Century. The meeting will be held on Wednesday the 5th September from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the Parish Church.

We have had great difficulty in finding a date, so this is the only sensible option if we are not to suffer unnecessary delay. Invitations will be going out shortly
This meeting will be our opportunity to discern what we are looking for in our new Parish Priest and will inform the PCC as it drafts the Parish Profile which is, in effect, our prospectus to sell ourselves.

Once the Parish Profile has been produced and approved by the Bishop and other church officers we can ask for the legal process to begin. Two formal meetings of the PCC then must be held with a strictly prescribed agenda which will be sent to us by the Diocesan Registrar.  These meetings must be held within six weeks of the start of the legal process. We realise the process can seem frustratingly slow, but it is a legal process that must be followed to the letter
There will be discussions between the parish officers and the Bishop, together with a representative from our patrons who are the Dean and Chapter of Windsor as the process evolves.

The second of our meeting at Diocesan Church House was with the Deputy Surveyor of the Diocese to discuss plans for the care of the vicarage. We were informed that no attempt will be made to let it in the short term, and it was acknowledged that substantial work needs to be done. We are pleased to be able to report that all the necessary work will be done, and the cost will be met, by the Diocese.  The work will most likely not start until January 2019 so that the cost will fall in their next financial year.

In the meantime, the grass will be cut as necessary, organised by the Diocese. The churchwardens have been asked to carry out twice-weekly inspections to satisfy insurance requirements. We have asked for the shrubs bordering Betjeman Lane to be cut back as soon as possible.

This is all the detail we can cover in a short bulletin but if anything is unclear please ask a churchwarden.