I hope that this finds you all safe and well and coping with the ongoing challenges of this season. Thank you for your faithfulness and perseverance in prayer and witness. You are all remembered daily in my prayers, with thanksgiving.
I wanted to write with an update about where we are in the process of discerning the next chapter of ministry in your Parish. First, may I thank you all for your openness and generosity of spirit in being willing to explore the possibility of making a joint appointment with Bishop Luffa School. As you know, the intention has been to appoint a 0.5 Incumbent to the Benefice with a 0.5 chaplaincy to Bishop Luffa School. Following my meetings with your Wardens and the PCC, I have been working closely with the Head of the school and with your Parish Representatives over several months now. This has been hugely positive and encouraging. We have interviewed a prospective candidate and also had wider conversations.
Unfortunately, though, we have not been able to identify the right candidate to serve both your Parish and the school.
As a result, the time has come to see if the chaplaincy for the school might be combined with another appointment elsewhere, and now move to advertise your 0.5 Incumbency in its own right after Christmas.
I realise that this will come as a disappointment, and know how much you have all invested in the prospective partnership with the school. As we have said from the outset, this is not a simple recruitment process but one of prayerful discernment. Having tested this fully, it does seem that this is now the right way forward. As always, we know that the Lord goes before us and has already prepared the heart of the priest who is being called to serve you. Confident that He who calls is faithful, we continue to trust that He will work out His purposes and lead your parishes into His future. Our calling, as always, is to be attentive in prayer that we might be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must continue to pray for one another, and I will continue to work closely with your Parish representatives and look forward to being able to visit your Parishes again in the near future.
With prayer and all good wishes,
The Venerable Luke Irvine-Capel
Archdeacon of Chichester