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Astley Parish

Church News

Our clock unsilenced!

We hope that village residents have noticed that the clock is striking again thanks to the repair carried out in February by Adrian Donnelley.  Our grateful thanks to Astley Parish Council for their generous grant which has covered the cost.  Incidentally, it would be great if we had a deputy clock-winder to stand in when the current 75-year-old winder is away; it only takes 5 minutes on a Saturday morning.  Any volunteer(s) please contact the PCC Secretary on 210639.

A new Priest for the Benefice!

It was announced, yesterday, Sunday 4 February, that the Reverend Paul Cawthorne, currently Team Vicar with the Dorchester (Oxfordshire) Team, has formally accepted the offer of Priest in Charge of our Benefice.  This is marvellous news and we should all now rejoice!  Paul's licensing service has been arranged for Saturday 9 June at St Mary Magdalene, Hadnall.  More details will appear soon ...

The Interregnum; what does it mean?

Our priest, Rob Haarhoff, retired on 31 May 2017 after 15 years' dedicated ministry in our parish.  An interregnum followed, during which we sought a replacement, following a long-established procedure, somewhat complicated by having to blend the requirements of the four parishes in the Benefice.  We we were truly grateful to Rural Dean Adam Clayton, Archdeacon Paul Thomas and Bishop Mark Rylands for steering us through the process.

Following various meetings, starting on on 25 April 2017, the four parishes produced an individual Statement of Need (Parish Profile), a job description and a person specification, all intended to inform the prospective candidate(s) applying for the post.   Our combined submissions were then agreed at a joint, Section 12 meeting on 15 June chaired by Bishop Mark, and the final, joint profile was published.    From the two applications received following the initial and subsequent adverts in the Church Times one applicant was interviewed on 25 January 2018, and an offer was made which, to our delight, the Reverend Paul Cawthorne accepted.  Until he is officially licensed on 9 June we will continue with our two services on average each month at St Mary’s (see Church Services in drop-down menu, above).  We are most grateful that retired clergy in neighbouring pariahes have offered to officiate where they are free from other commitments.

Rob’s last service on Sunday 4 June at Hadnall

Rob and Pat had a splendid send-off following Rob's last service in the Benefice, held in a packed (standing room only) St Mary Magdalene in Hadnall on 4 June when, before the Holy Communion was administered, representatives of each parish gave a short valedictory address to thank him for 15 year's ministry and dedicated service.

The combined congregation then assembled in the village hall to enjoy an excellent buffet lunch during which we had the opportunity to chat to Rob and Pat and to offer them our personal thanks and best wishes for their move to Wem.

The cake donated by the four parishes The cake donated by the four parishes