Bob Edy, (Priest-in-charge and then Rector 1999-2015), celebrated the 20th anniversary of his ordination in October 2013.  To celebrate this event, Ken Smith, a member of the congregation and long time friend of both Bob and Ruth accosted him from the pews together with the, then, Church Wardens, Edmund Strainge and Peter Nichols, to formally note this important date!

Ken addressing the congregation and Bob - 20 years.

Ken addressing the congregation and Bob – 20 years.

.. and thanks to Ruth too!

.. and thanks to Ruth too!

You can listen again to this service here.

Also at this time, the Oxford Diocesan’s Mission and Pastoral Committee had decided to lift the suspension of the benefice* which meant that Bob could be inducted as the Rector. This ceremony took place on the same day as our Confirmation Service: 17th November 2013.

The ceremony, part of which dates back to the middle-ages, comprised
Paul Hirons, representing the Diocesan Board of Patronage, led Bob to stand before, and presented him to, our Bishop
The Rt. Rev’d Colin Fletcher OBE who read the Deed of Institution and gave it to Bob.
After blessing the ministers, church wardens and other members of the team (representing the whole church), Bishop Colin then delivered the Mandate of Induction to the Area Dean
The Rev’d Bill Blakey who then  inducted Bob by leading him to the door of the church, along with the church wardens, and symbolically handed him the keys.  He then led Bob back to his stall, in the chancel, and placed him there.
Bob was then officially announced, by the Bishop, as our Rector: now duly instituted, inducted and installed.

*Suspension of the benefice
So, what does this actually mean?

Suspension of presentation means the temporary removal of a patron’s right to present an incumbent for appointment to the freehold of a benefice. The Bishop remains responsible for the cure of souls which he will normally exercise by the appointment of a priest-in-charge who serves as an incumbent but without the freehold.

Why suspend?
Under the Pastoral Measure 1983 suspension of presentation is allowed when:

  • Pastoral reorganisation is in progress or under consideration.
  • It is intended that the parsonage house be replaced.

Suspension is most often used when the bishop is considering some form of pastoral reorganisation (e.g. the formation of a united benefice or a team ministry). The bishop may not wish to appoint a new incumbent to a parish when a position becomes vacant.  If the bishop appoints a new incumbent, that priest could be in the parish until retirement, which could hinder the bishop’s ideas for reorganising the diocese. The bishop may prefer to appoint instead a priest-in-charge, which is like a fixed-term contract, meaning that the bishop can bring the priest’s appointment to an end if appropriate.