Parishes join together to find new priest to lead churches on Felixstowe peninsula

The Rev Canon Geoffrey Grant retired earlier this month after 50 years at Nacton (and other churches

The Rev Canon Geoffrey Grant retired earlier this month after 50 years at Nacton (and other churches). Geoffrey is pictured at home in Lavenham with wife, Wendy. - Credit: Archant

Work is under way to find a new priest for eight churches on the Felixstowe peninsula.

The parishes of Bucklesham, Kirton, Nacton, Falkenham, Hemley, Newbourne, Levington and Waldringfield have been without vicars since the death of Rev John Waller, vicar for 37 years, and the retirement of Rev Canon Geoffrey Grant, who spent 50 years on the peninsula.

Church of England officials have now joined the churches into one benefice – which means they will in future be under the care of one priest instead of being split between two ministers.

In due course, the churches will become part of a group ministry with Martlesham and Kesgrave.

Margaret Condick, a lay member of Kirton church, has been asked to start putting together a “benefice profile” from the eight parish profiles as part of the process to begin selection of a new priest.

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She said: “We are beginning to find ways to get to know each other and to co-operate.

“We need to work closely together to appoint a new priest. We shall draw up a benefice profile which will describe our eight villages and our churches.

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“This will then be used to advertise the post.”

Archdeacon the Ven Ian Morgan is helping with the process and each church has been asked to appoint two lay people to represent them.

Mrs Condick said: “We have already begun to meet informally and to discuss what needs to go in the benefice profile. This will contain information about Suffolk, about our diocese and deanery, about the benefice as a whole, and also about each of the eight village churches.”

The profile should be approved in September so the post can be advertised. It is hoped to interview candidates in the autumn and to welcome a new incumbent in early 2016.

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