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Astley Parish

Church News

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 now follows, during which we search for a replacement, following a long-established procedure which, inevitably, is somewhat complicated by having to blend the requirements of the four parishes in the Benefice. To help steer us through the process we have the assistance of the Rural Dean (Adam Clayton), the Archdeacon (Paul Thomas) and the Bishop of Shrewsbury (Mark Rylands), for which we are truly grateful.

Things got under way with a joint-PCC meeting on 25 April at which Archdeacon Paul Thomas described how we go about selecting a new priest.  Next came our own PCC Section 11 meeting in May when Dorothy Dodds and Martin Locke were nominated as official PCC representatives at future meetings and for selection interviews.  The four parishes produced an individual Statement of Need (Parish Profile), a job description and a person specification, all of which are intended to inform the prospective candidate(s) applying for the post.   Our combined submissions were then discussed and agreed at a joint, Section 12 meeting on 15 June chaired by Bishop Mark Rylands, and the final, joint profile was published and is available via the Diocesan website.    Only one application was received following the initial and subsequent adverts in the Church Times so the waiting continues and it is hoped that we will be able to interview applicants some time in the autumn.  Meanwhile  two services on average will take place each month at St Mary’s (see Church Services in drop-down menu, above) until Christmas and into the new year.  We are most grateful that 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