Finally, April 25th has arrived and by the time you read this my Collation, Induction and Installation as Vicar of St Andrew’s will have taken place. Thank you to all those of you who came and played any part in the service.
For those of you unable to be there, this complex-sounding process (which I fear makes me sound a bit like a boiler!) is the service in which any parish priest is formally accepted and adopted as the local vicar. The Bishop, the Archdeacon, the Area Dean and Churchwardens have official roles to play and other representatives of the community are involved in formal welcomes.
I had the joy of a welcome from Holly (on behalf of Royal Kent School), the local Scouts and Guiding Associations, the Mothers’ Union, other local church leaders from all denominations, as well as the Mayor of Elmbridge and others from within St Andrew’s church. We also had the pleasure of a more informal welcome in the Village Centre afterwards – my sincere thanks to all those who provided the delicious and generous hospitality.
So what happens now after all the excitement?
My first priority is to meet and begin to get to know as many of you as possible, wherever you are – in the Post Office queue, at the school gate, and of course in church. If you have never been to St Andrew’s before, remember, it is Your Church, the church for this community, and I invite you to come and meet us there. All our services continue as usual.
However, I shall hope to meet many of you at Oxshott Village Day on Monday 1 May — please come and say hello. I’ll be easy to spot — I’ll be the one wearing the clerical (or ‘dog’) collar!