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Viewpoint from Rt Rev Dr Alan Winton  18/08/2017 

alan wintonRt Rev Dr Alan Winton
Bishop of Thetford 

as published in the Yarmouth Mercury

By the time you read this, I will have just been to Great Yarmouth Minster (St Nicholas’ Church) for the service to welcome the new Team Rector, the Revd Simon Ward. He will lead the team of clergy and lay people serving the town and taking responsibility for the Minster, St Paul’s, and St Mary’s churches
For Simon, it will be a homecoming, as he was born in Great Yarmouth, and spent part of his childhood in Belton Vicarage, where his father was Vicar. Having gone away to University and to teach for a while, he began his ministry in Guildford Diocese, then moved to Suffolk, before finally finding his way back to Norfolk. Some of you may remember him from his time as chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich
dove leftThe Minster is said to be the largest parish church in England – although this is a claim disputed by Hull Parish Church. Perhaps one day someone will test to see whose claim is correct with the help of a tape-measure
The task before Simon, and those with whom he will work, is demanding and he will need the support of the prayers and encouragement of us all.  There are services every day in the Minster, as a reminder of the central place of prayer in our lives, as a reminder of a loving God who is always there to hear us.  Simon will be out and about in the town visiting people and places.  He will be supporting the really important work of the churches in serving those who are in greatest need, not least through the excellent work of Pathway Café
Dove rightMost of all, he will want to work with others to bring the message of God’s love to all who live within this great town
There is a very loyal and faithful band of regular worshippers who meet week by week in the Minster, but more than in any of our many churches across Norfolk, there is plenty of room for others to come and join
The church is not an exclusive club, but is open to all and there to serve the whole community, so why not come along to a service, or visit the church and meet your new priest
I hope Yarmouth takes pride in having (probably) the largest parish church in the country: now would be a great time to come and see inside if you’ve never visited
God bless you
Bishop Alan

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