The church of Saint Mary and All Saints in Boxley was packed yesterday evening for the licensing of the Reverend Paul Kite who is the new Hollingbourne based Team Vicar for the Pilgrims’ Way Parishes within the North Downs Ministry, which also include Hucking, Thurnham, Detling, Boxley and Grove Green. The service was led by the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop in Canterbury and Bishop of Dover, and the Venerable Stephen Taylor, Archdeacon of Maidstone.
Captain Graham Bibby of the Church Army was also licensed at the same service as Missioner for the North Downs Benefice. He will will live in Grove Green and will spend most of his time in the new housing estates to the east of Maidstone. Among the hundreds of people present was Councillor Malcolm Greer, the Mayor of Maidstone. Around 30 of the congregation came from Hollingbourne.
The licensing of the Reverend Kite marks the end of an interregnum in Hollingbourne following the retirement of the Reverend Nigel Fry in April 2015. Since 2015 the Leeds and Hollingbourne Benefice has become part of the new North Downs Benefice. This includes the Parishes of Leeds, Langley, Broomfield, and Otham under the care of the Reverend Steve Hughes, Bearsted where the Team Rector and a Curate are based, and the North Downs Ministry with the Reverend Paul Kite.
The 7pm service was followed by a reception in a marquee close to the church.
Pictured below (lefty to right) are Captain Graham Bibby, the Reverend Paul Kite who will live in the Hollingbourne Vicarage with is wife Karen and family, and Bishop Trevor Willmott.