Hundreds of people welcome new vicar to Bury St Edmunds
PUBLISHED: 16:28 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:26 06 February 2019
Hundreds of people filled a Bury St Edmunds church this week to welcome a new vicar to his parish.
Rev Simon Harvey has joined the parish of St Mary and St Peter and the Bishop of Dunwich The Rt Rev Mike Harrison, presided at the service held at St Mary’s on Monday.
The mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks, the Archdeacon of Sudbury The Ven Dr David Jenkins, and the Dean of St Edmundsbury The Very Rev Joe Hawes also attended the service.
The parish has two churches – St Mary’s and St Peter’s – a community centre and several congregations.
Rev Harvey said: “It is an enormous privilege to be joining a very large and gifted team in this very active parish.
“With a growing second church at St Peter’s and a wonderful community facility in the Hyndman Centre, we’re seeking to continue a centuries-long tradition of worshipping God and supporting our local neighbourhoods.
“I’m particularly keen to see the continuing flourishing of the music ministry at St Mary’s and to build on the civic role that the church has in the town.”
Rev Harvey, 55, served as vicar of the parish of St Mary Islington from 2010 and prior to that was vicar in the suburban parish of Oadby in Leicester, and served a curacy in the town centre parish of St Paul, Walsall.
His interests include the church’s role in civic society, the connections between theology and place, understanding why people think differently about big issues, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, craft beer, food and books.
He is married to Jo, who works as a children’s nanny, and has two adult sons, Jon and Phil.
“I have never lived in Suffolk before and I’m struck by how many of the people that I have met tell me that Jo and I are going to love living here,” he added.
“I come to a parish which is already thriving and there is more potential to work with people and organisations beyond our churches for the benefit of Bury.
“St Mary’s has always been Bury’s people’s church and St Peter’s shares in this parish commitment to welcoming everyone and to making God known. I shall try, with God’s help, to be a vicar for all the people of this very special place.”