The Interregnum 2018/2019


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Interregnum  News Issue 4

We travel the Interregnum road together

with courage, compassion and

in a spirit of contemplation of future opportunity


We had a very successful day of interviews on Friday (30th November 2018). Four candidates attended and the first thing we should like to do is to pass on sincere thanks from the Bishop of Dorchester and the rest of the panel to all who helped in any way on the day.

We should like to offer particular thanks to Benita, Jane, Richard and Robert for organising such a splendid lunch and for staying to keep the panel refreshed throughout the day.  We would also like to thank those who accompanied the candidates on their visits to the Vicarage; Alastair, Suzy, Ann, Judith and David and to Sue and Andy Browne at the school 

Special thanks also to the children of our primary school for their help and insightful comments on the candidates.

We would also like to thank all those who attended the Eucharist at the Parish Church and listened to the sermons preached by the candidates.

We received several positive comments on the organisation of the day from our visitors.

The panel consisted of the Bishop of Dorchester, a representative Canon from the Dean and Chapter of Windsor (our patrons), and our churchwardens as Parish Representatives who had “voting rights”, and the Archdeacon of Dorchester, the Area Dean and the Lay Chair of Deanery Synod who did not.

We are pleased to report that a verbal offer has been made to the preferred candidate. The immediate response was encouraging, and we await formal confirmation of acceptance in due course when a more detailed announcement will be made.

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Interregnum  News Issue 3

We travel the Interregnum road together

with courage, compassion and

in a spirit of contemplation of future opportunity


Much has happened during the last week to provide us all with a much better understanding of the progress being achieved toward the appointment of a new Vicar of Wantage.

The Open Meeting held in the Parish Church on the evening of Wednesday 5th September was attended by 90 people from our congregations and from the Community in Wantage.  The evening was led by Revd Charles Chadwick (Parish Development Officer for the Archdeaconry of Dorchester) supported by an experienced team.  Those attending the meeting, working in small teams, provided their thoughts on a whole range of issues relevant to us thinking prayerfully about the future of the Parish.

The four themes that the teams were invited to respond to were:

  1. Thanksgiving: What aspects of the Parish do you wish to thank God for?
  2. Contemplation: How do you think we should be developing our relationship with God as we move forward?
  3. Compassion:  How do we show compassion towards the people with whom we share our lives in Wantage?
  4. Courageous and Brave: What is our vision for the Parish for the next five years (2019-2024)?
Our warmest thanks go to Charles and his team.

If anyone who was unable to attend the Open Meeting and would like to express views about the future of the parish, they should contact one of the Churchwardens, preferably Bob, not later than Saturday 15th September (e-mail: bob.chaplow@gmail.com or Tel: 01235 768854)

During the introduction to the Open Meeting, Charles provided us with an overview of the timetable leading to the appointment of a new Vicar.  On the next day, the Churchwardens received the formal “Notice of Vacancy” from the Diocesan Registrar, which provided further clarity of the process and timetable.

This timetable was further discussed on Thursday at meetings of the Standing Committee and the PCC.  The PCC also agreed that the Standing Committee will prepare the Parish Profile for approval by the PCC.  The timetable is now confirmed as follows:

Thursday 27th September:    Section 11 Meeting at which the PCC
                                           formally approves   the Parish Profile
                                           and appoints the two Parish Representatives
                                           to sit on the Appointments Panel.

Monday 8th October:          Section 12 Meeting attended by the Bishop, Patrons
                                          and PCC to formally agree the Parish Profile.

19th and 26th October        Position advertised.

Monday 12th November       Closing date for applications.

Thursday 15th November     Short-listing of applicants.

Friday 30th November         Interviews

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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.

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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.