Who you will meet during the Vacancy….

Or is it ‘whom’…?  A former lawyer should really know….

It’s a vacancy – it used to be called an ‘Interregnum’ but that suggests a period between two rules and the Church of England doesn’t rule anything (any more) and so ‘Vacancy’ is the current word.  If you want to discover more about what this means then please do read Tony Gaster’s useful article in Itchen Valley News for February.

But this means that some wonderful priests will be visiting us during February and beyond  and conducting our services.  Please do be very hospitable to them.  It is quite possible that they won’t know exactly how we do everything here so please be understanding!

The priests who will be joining us in February are Revd Andrew Ashdown, Revd Christopher Blissard-Barnes, Revd. Christopher Salter and Revd Jill Bentall.  I don’t know Jill or Christopher Salter but I do know Andrew and Christopher Blizzard-Barnes.

Andrew is an priest of international significance, an expert in inter faith relations and the Middle East in particular.  He has made many recent visits to Syria in particular.  You can read about him here: http://www.andrewashdown.me.uk/p/about-me.html. He is married to the wonderful Revd. Victoria Ashdown who is the Rector of Parishes of Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley and is a contemporary of mine in going through ordination.

Christopher Blissard Barnes is a retired priest currently on the staff of a church in Stanmore.  However, I have known Christopher (not well) for over 20 years since he was the Rector of Hambledon (Surrey) and he baptised our eldest daughter Claudia.  He always spoke in a very challenging way when we were attending church in Hambledon before we left for Tokyo and I have no doubt that he will do again!

Jill was described as ‘having been at the heart of the Andover community for 20 years’ when she retired some time ago.  Clearly a very well loved and appreciated parish priest.

And I can find absolutely nothing out about Christopher Salter, except for the Revd Christopher Salter who is mentioned in the Peerage.com who was born in 1774…I don’t think its him….

Please do look after these visitors to our parish!


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