We are really delighted to announce that Revd. Dr. David Crook has accepted the offer to combine his current half-time post of Priest-in-Charge of Fittleworth and Stopham parishes, with the half-time post of our three parishes, to create a new full-time role looking after all five parishes. This appointment has been under discussion for a number of months, and comes with the full support of Bishop Martin of Chichester, and Acting Archdeacon of Horsham Revd. Derek Welsman.
This is a big change for us all, and not least for David, but having a full time Priest-in-Charge will benefit all five parishes, and we really look forward to building relationships with Fittleworth and Stopham. For us, having a new incumbent who already knows the area so well is a huge bonus, along with an in-depth understanding of rural ministry – both the challenges and the highlights.
On a practical note, the rectory at Tillington will be rented out, and a new parish room in a cottage in Tillington owned by the Leconfield estate will become David’s base in Tillington for meetings and group events. In Duncton, David will take on a governor role and weekly assemblies at Duncton C.E. primary school – the synergies with his involvement at Fittleworth school are obvious.
There has been much discussion behind the scenes to agree service plans and finances – our thanks go to all the Treasurers involved, and particular thanks also to Annie Sneller, Licensed Lay Reader at Tillington. Annie’s contribution over the past few months, and going forward in running services, has been integral to the appointment.
The stability and dedication that David will bring to all our churches in a full time post is incredibly positive, and will be a huge factor towards assuring all our future sustainability. This is an exciting new phase for all our churches, and despite everything going on in the country this year, we are thrilled with this brilliant news to now have David at the helm, and just in time for Christmas!