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The end of the Interregnum

(OK, yes, I know that technically the C of E doesn’t call it that any more and we use the term “vacancy”, but I like the old forms and terms, dammit! I also prefer the BCP over CW, because I’m weird like that.) Since the Reverend Simon Heathfield departed St Mary’s last Autumn to take up his new role as Arch-deacon of Aston in Birmingham (becoming “the Venerable” in the process, and it won’t surprise me at all if he becomes “the Right Reverend” at some point in the next 5-8 years – I’m not sure if he’ll be flattered or horrified at that thought! 😉 ) St Mary’s has been without a team rector. The curate, Young Lee, has been doing a sterling job, very ably guided and assisted by the leadership team, but Simon’s absence and lack of a vicar has been keenly felt by many I think. The news announced yesterday in church that the Reverend Vanessa Conant has been apppointed and accepted the position of team rector caused great excitement and more than a little relief all round; the last two interregnums at St Mary’s lasted 18 months and a year respectively before Paul Butler and then Simon himself were appointed, so finding the perfect God-chosen person in the very first round of interviews is indeed a surprising but incredibly welcome blessing. And Rev Conant will have the honour of being St Mary’s very first ever female team rector. We’ve had plenty of lady vicars and curates on the parish team throughout all four churches (St Mary’s, St Stephen’s, St Gabriel’s and St Luke’s) but never a team rector before. Given that the electoral roll at St Mary’s (according to official figures announced at the AGM last Sunday) is 2/3rds women, I think this appointment is going to very popular indeed. Simon’s shoes will not be easy to fill, I fear, but Rev Conant seems very much the ideal person to step into them. We believe her licensing and installation will likely happen sometime around mid-July but this is yet to be confirmed. We’re all very much looking forward to Rev Vanessa Conant’s arrival and she’ll get a very warm Walthamstow welcome! (Simon is very much not forgotten however; he is hugely missed by us all, and there have been a lot of people made very happy by the news that he is returning to Walthamstow and St Mary’s specially to officiate at the wedding of myself and my partner David at the end of next month. I may have jokingly observed that I’m not entirely certain whether people will be turning up for the wedding or for Simon. 😉 )


About arkadyrose

Genderqueer artist, singer, musician, writer, tailor, mead-mazer and doll crafter living in Walthamstow, NE London.


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Arkady Rose

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March 2015
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