New team rector instituted

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The parishioners of Rye, Playden, Iden, Camber, East Guldeford and Rye Harbour had eagerly awaited the arrival on November 25 of their new rector, Reverend Paul White.

Eleven long months of careful planning and a great deal of hard work by the churchwardens of Rye, Graham Hurley and Shelley Jebb, assisted by a team of individuals from all the parishes, culminated in the institution and induction of Paul John White as team rector of the Rye Team Ministry on the evening of Thursday, November 25 at 6pm.

The Reverend Paul White was drummed from the rectory to the church by Ryebellion Drummers which was very uplifting and made Paul feel very welcomed by the town of Rye.

The Right Reverend Will Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes, and the Venerable Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings presided over the service and welcomed Paul and his family to Rye to start his ministry. Bishop Will addressed the congregation and said that we had all come today to give thanks for all that had gone before, for all who had built the churches that form part of the benefice. Not only were we looking at the past but more so today we were looking to the future and the arrival of a new rector. He gave thanks to all those across the benefice who had worked so hard during the interregnum for keeping the doors open and the show on the road.

“Today we give thanks for Paul, Vivienne, Annabelle and Henry for answering the call to serve God in this place,” said Bishop Will. He explained that the Right Reverend Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, was unable to attend because he has Covid-19, but had sent his warmest wishes to Paul and his family.

The congregation stood as the incumbent designate Paul White was presented to the bishop by the patron, Ian Macpherson. Paul held the New Testament in his right hand and turned to the people and took the oath of allegiance and the oath of canonical obedience. Bishop Will presented the mandate for the induction to the archdeacon who then escorted Paul to the principal door of the church. His hand was placed on the handle and with that he was inducted into: “The real, actual and corporal possession of the rectory and parish church of St Mary.”

Paul then tolled the church bell to signify taking possession of the benefice and was conducted to his stall by the church wardens and the archdeacon. He was greeted by a warm round of applause by the congregation, many of whom were from Paul’s previous parish, St Mary’s Hadlow. They had come to support his new venture and wish him and his family well. The Sacrament of the Eucharist followed.

Paul addressed the congregation and said how much he was looking forward to his new role as rector and meeting all those in his benefice. He took a selfie and posted it on Twitter so that everyone who couldn’t be there was able to feel a part of it.

A beautiful spread of sandwiches and cakes and drinks was provided for all to enjoy.

After the service Bishop Will said, ”Wow! What a wonderful evening of celebration in Rye, as we instituted the Reverend Paul White as team rector of Rye Ministry, from the wonderful Ryebellion Drummers who accompanied Paul from the rectory to the church to the great singing and music as we rejoiced in the life and witness of the household of God in the Rye ministry team.”

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .

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