The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, led a special service on Tuesday 21 October to license and install the Reverend Ian Parrish as the new Priest-in-Charge at All Saints with St Philip, Maidstone and St Stephen, Tovil.
A congregation of around 200 people attended the service, including members from each of the three churches and the local community.
At the start of the service the Bishop welcomed Ian, his wife Frauke and twin adult sons, Philip and Sebastian, by saying: “We have longed for your coming and we offer a very warm welcome to you. We shall continue to pray for you and your ministry in this great county town.”
No stranger to Maidstone, Mr Parrish served the last four years at St Paul’s Maidstone as a training curate and Associate Priest. Before training to become a priest, Ian served in the Army Royal Engineers for 23 years.
Describing Ian’s previous life as ‘rich indeed’, Bishop Trevor said: “Ian has never run away from failure, He can teach us that human failure is not the end, but the beginning of opportunity.” He concluded his sermon by reminding the congregations that Ian’s ministry at All Saints will be a shared journey and called on the whole community to show God’s love in every action.
The Lord Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Richard Thick welcomed Ian to the Borough of Maidstone and representatives from other denominations contributed to the service, including Revd Bill Miller of Churches Together in Maidstone. Two pupils and the Executive Head of Archbishop Courtenay School also presented a Bible to Ian as part of the service.
Speaking at the end, Mr Parrish thanked everyone for their welcome, he commented: “I am looking forward to serving this parish where I’ve been called to be your pastor and friend. May God pour his grace upon us.”
Mr Parrish will officiate at his first service on Sunday 26 October at the 10am Joint Parish Eucharist at All Saints.
Photos show: Churchwarden Mollie Neaves, Bishop Trevor Willmott, Revd Ian Parrish and Churchwarden Lionel Marchant at the service in All Saints
Further information from:
Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446, firstname.lastname@example.org