The Official Website of the United Benefice of the Laughton, Ripe & Chalvington Churches

Stacks Image 129

Interregnum (Vacancy)

11 December 2017

We are pleased to announce that the next Rector of Laughton, Ripe and Chalvington will be the Reverend Geoffrey Smith.

Geoffrey had a distinguished ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford before recently moving to Sussex. The selection panel agreed unanimously that he was the right person to invite to be Rector of this Benefice, and we are very excited about his appointment. Geoffrey and his wife will move to the Benefice in early Spring.

25th September 2017

The PCCs of Laughton, Ripe and Chalvington held a joint meeting on 2nd September and appointed Thalia Brotherton-Ratcliffe, Joan Royle, Mark Hartley and Sue Armstead as representatives to carry the process of choosing a new part-time Rector forwards.

An advert has been approved by the Bishop Martin of Chichester, Bishop Richard of Lewes and the Patron, Hertford College, Oxford. The Parish profile [copy attached as a pdf file in the RH Margin] has also been finalised and approved, and the post has now been advertised in the Church Times.

Closing date for applications is 9th October, with a possible interviewing date, if there are any applicants, on 21st November.

Meanwhile the services continue to be taken by a variety of interesting visiting clergy. The Reverend Lucy Murdoch (daughter of the late General Houghton) will be with us on Remembrance Sunday, Archdeacon Martin continues to be very supportive, and Bishop Richard of Lewes is taking the family service on Christmas morning. We are most grateful to them all.

Joan Royle

23rd April 2017

The churchwardens met with Archdeacon Martin Lloyd Williams on 8th April to discuss arrangements for the interregnum, that is the period of time from David’s departure until a new priest is appointed.

He explained that the benefice will be receiving a Rector, as opposed to a Priest in Charge as David Mathers has been. The appointment will remain non-stipendiary and part time, but will become a “Stand Alone Living”, which means that the benefice cannot be merged with other parishes.

The post is “House for Duty”, meaning that the new Rector will live in Laughton Rectory in exchange for offering priestly ministry to the benefice, but without receiving a stipend. The expected hours of duty are those of Sunday and two other days a week. The new Rector can decide how the two days are spent, but cannot be expected to fulfil all the functions of a full-time priest.

The process of appointing a new Rector is likely to be protracted. The Patrons of the churches, Brasenose College, Oxford, Hertford College, Oxford, and the Bishop of Chichester have a significant role in terms of their legal right to present whom they wish as incumbent to be appointed. Representatives of the two PCCs will also be appointed, a Parish profile will be produced and if no-one is found to fill the vacancy by September, the post will be advertised in the Church Times.

During the interregnum the churchwardens will ask a variety of priests who are living in the area, and one or two from further afield, if they would be willing to take the services so that the existing schedule is maintained. The Archdeacon has also offered to take some of our services, the Reverend Jane Sherwin also, and she will continue to take weddings, funerals and baptisms. We already have commitments from the Reverend Ronald Chatwin, the Reverend William Pratt, the Reverend Peter Owen Jones on 10
th September, and the Reverend David Farey at evensong on 21st May. There will be others also, so please look at the monthly schedule.

It is going to be a busy time for the Churchwardens and PCCs. We are so grateful for the many people who give of their time and help in maintaining all three churches. All of them look very beautiful in the spring sunshine. I hope that you will all continue to support our work and ministry.

Joan Royle
Senior Churchwarden

St John the Baptist,