Woodbridge: Rector thrilled by news of royal appointment
13:30 17 March 2014
A Suffolk clergyman has shared his delight at being handed a prestigious title by Her Majesty the Queen.
Woodbridge rector, Reverend Canon Kevan McCormack, said he was both “thrilled and stunned” to be named Chaplain to the Queen in an announcement from Buckingham Palace.
Mr McCormack, who became rector of St Mary’s Church in 2000, will be responsible for a number of honorary duties in his new position, including preaching once a year in the Chapel Royal, at St James’ Palace.
He will also be invited to attend the Queen’s informal garden parties, and will be entitled to wear a scarlet cassock until retirement as a symbol of his status.
The news was revealed to a jubilant congregation after Mr McCormack received an official letter of appointment from the office of the Queen.
Mr McCormack said he was accepting the title on behalf of all parishes in which he had worked, and that it was a particularly special honour for Woodbridge and St Mary’s. He added: “I’m absolutely stunned, thrilled and daunted, all at the same time. What I have done to deserve it, I’m not sure.
“I received a call from the Clerk of the Closet five or six weeks ago asking whether, if asked to be Chaplain to the Queen, I would accept. I then received a letter asking the same question and I responded to say I would. That was the last I heard until it was announced.
“I hope that everyone in the town and parish will feel a part of it.”
Margie Stagg, publicity officer for St Mary’s Church, said the news came as a delightful surprise to the congregation. She added: “We all offer Kevan our warmest and most sincere congratulations for a tremendous accolade so richly deserved.
“His name, face and reputation are widely known in Woodbridge, both within and outside the community of St. Mary’s, where he is much loved and respected.”
Mr McCormack will be part of the Ecclesiastical Household, which is made up of 36 Anglican chaplains, as well as chaplains extraordinary and honorary chaplains appointed to serve the spiritual needs of the Queen when called upon.
The unpaid role will be in addition to Mr McCormack’s usual duties as rector at St Mary’s. His other clerical roles include Chaplain of Ipswich Town Football Club and Suffolk Coastal District Council, and Officiating Chaplain to the armed forces community at Rock Barracks, near Woodbridge.