Church Notices

Our new man in the Benefice

It was a very full church on the evening of Thursday 17th September to welcome the licensing of the new priest in charge John Cooper White. A large number had come from Southbourne, Father John's previous parish. The service started with a huge procession entering the Church through the glass cloister door and included the choir, visiting readers and clergy, the area Dean, the Churchwardens and the Bishop of Southampton. The service started with the hymn "Angel-voices ever singing" followed by a call to worship by the Bishop.
Canon Michael Joint and Brian Hernaman did the readings followed by a sermon with song by the Bishop. A commendation was read out by Mr Robert Hammond a representative of Father John's former parish.Following the licensing the congregation sang "O Thou who camest from above"
Gifts were present by various members of the congregation to Father John to be symbols of his ministry and included a jug of water, a Bible, a Prayer book, Olive Oil, Bread and Wine. The congregation then sang "I, the Lord of sea and sky "  during which all the Benefice Wardens joined together in the chancel with Father John to pray for their ministry together. The Lay Chair of Deanery, Bill Andrews, greeted Father John and introduced him to some of the community leaders.
A sign of peace was exchanged followed by singing the hymn "Through all the changing scenes of life " Intercessionary prayers followed and then the final hymn Christ triumphant, ever reigning " A final blessing from the Bishop who then lead Father John through the church and the service was concluded. To be followed by some excellent canapés and a little wine.
This was a lovely moving and friendly evening.