Start of consultation period on the future of the local church.

Start of consultation period on the future of the local church.

Following the retirement of the Reverend Nigel Fry as Priest in Charge of the Leeds and Hollingbourne Benefice in April 2015 the Diocese of Canterbury is proposing to reorganise the local churches so that Hollingbourne and Hucking will become a section of the North Downs Benefice which will include Boxley, Thurnham and Detling. Leeds, Broomfield, and Kingswood will join with Otham to form another section of the same benefice.

The public consultation period will last until 30th August and any comments should be sent to Mr Rex Andrew, Pastoral Division, The Church Commissioners, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1 3AZ .

On the assumption that there are no serious objections the All Saints’ Parochial Church Council hopes that a new Team Vicar will be installed in the Hollingbourne Vicarage early in 2017. The new local Team Vicar will take services in all of the churches in the section at some point in the calendar including the Boxley Parish Church which is also used by the local members of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The new local organisation will be part of the new North Downs Benefice which will also includes Bearsted and Leeds, Broomfield, Kingswood, and Otham. A Missioner will be recruited to help develop the church’s mission in the new housing estates in the area and in those along the Sutton Road in particular. This post is for four years the Missioner will live in a church owned house in Samphire Close, Grove Green. The Team Rector will be based in Bearsted and another Team Vicar will live in Otham.

Full details of the proposed changes are in the Notice on the door of All Saints’ Church in Hollingbourne and at /hollingbournepc/UserFiles/file/THE%20DRAFT%20SCHEME%20Bearsted%20%2B%20%20Boxley%20%2B%20Hollingbourne%20%2B%20%20Otham%20%20UB%2BTM.pdf. More information is at /hollingbournepc/UserFiles/file/LILAC%20Glossary.pdf

Pictured below is All Saints’ Churchwarden Jim Findlay attaching the formal notice to the door of All Saints’ Church this morning (Picture courtesy of Gavin Bilborough).