From the Rector - August 2016

Dear Friends,

Over the next few weeks. as mentioned previously, we have some major celebrations of our church communities.

On August 14th at 10.30am we have our Patronal Festival for the church of St Mary's East Knoyle. The president and preacher will be The Rt Rev'd Dom Giles Hill OSB. Abbot Giles has been my spiritual director since 2003. Born to a Methodist father and a Roman Catholic Mother, and educated by the Christian Brothers, it is scarcely surprising that Giles became an Anglican. When his father died at a young age. Giles became the bread-winner for his family comprised of Mum and two younger sisters. He worked as a Verger in Exeter Cathedral, and in due time entered Alton Abbey in 1967. Professed in 1969. it was not until I986 that he was ordained priest. He was elected as Abbot in 1990. in which he has served ever since with a three year interlude from 2010-13. He has an historical concern with the details of the Holocaust. reads detective and historical fiction, principally by British authors. Enjoys Irish whiskey and English beer; loves pasta, and won't eat chicken or lamb.

On August 21st at 10.30am we celebrate our Benefice Patronal of St Bartholomew. This service will take place at Semley Church. The president and preacher will be The Rt Rev'd john Kirkham who was educated at Lancing College and Trinity College. Cambridge. After training for ordination he was ordained to a curacy in lpswich. The positions he has held since include Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, Chaplain to the Bishop of New Guinea, Assistant Priest at St Martin in the Fields and St Margaret's Westminster, Chaplain to Archbishop Ramsey and Archbishop Coggan, Diocesan Director of Ordinands for Canterbury, Bishop of Sherborne in our own Diocese of Salisbury, and Bishop to the Forces. He was also Chairman of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education. Thanks also go to The Venerable John Holliman for helping to arrange Bishop Kirkham’s visit.

On September 4th we welcome The Rt Rev'd Dr Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury to preside and preach at the Patronal Festival of Donhead St Mary. The first Bishop of Ramsbury was Aethelstan, appointed in 909. The ancient title of Bishop of Ramsbury means that Bishop Edward is responsible for the Wiltshire parts of the Diocese of Salisbury (as well as one parish in Dorset and four in Hampshire). He was ordained in 1982, after studying for a doctorate at Exeter College. Oxford. He has been a parish priest in rural, suburban and urban parishes. In Salisbury he is particularly keen to promote the rural church. He was previously Canon Treasurer at Canterbury Cathedral where he was among other things responsible for the training of Bishops and Priests from around the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Bishop Edward is married to Sarah. They have four grown up children. He claims to have played just about every sport apart from golf and beach volleyball. (information from the Diocesan Website).

We hope to welcome you to join in our celebrations.

Your ever,

Richard