It seems somewhat strange sitting here in Northern California looking out of my study window at the mountains bathed in glorious Californian sunshine, and reflecting on the idea that in less than twelve weeks I shall be moving into The Vicarage in Kirton and getting ready for my Installation as your new Vicar and parish priest on September 4th.
Maggie and I are both very excited about our move home after eight years, serving in two very different parishes here in the USA. We are excited to be coming to you with a wide experience of ministry in both pastoral, liturgical and preaching styles. We fell in love with your amazing Church buildings and we know the area quite well over many years of travel to East Anglia.
The call to serve as your priest came to me very strangely and yet powerfully, so here we are answering the call to serve with energy, enthusiasm and passion.
I was born and raised in North Eastern England in the City of Durham, growing up under the shadow of that city’s great Norman Cathedral, the burial place and shrine of both St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. Thankfully my upbringing from birth was in the context of a committed and active Church of England family whose daily life was immersed in the life of our local church and parish.
I trained for the priesthood at Chichester Theological College in West Sussex and also have a Theology degree from Durham University. My experience in ministry has been forged in urban and rural parishes in England, Scotland and the USA.
We are counting down the days to our move, and as I bring to a close my ministry at All Saints here in Redding, I ask your prayers for our future life together under God’s guidance and inspiration.
Every best wish and blessing to you all,
Fr Paul F Blanch