Vicar's Letter



‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.’

(Colossians 3:17).


Dear Friends, once again I find myself with the opportunity of writing to you in place of the Vicar’s Letter.


In Julian’s last letter, he shared his news with you that Nursling and Rownhams will be going into 2019 without him at the helm. Many of you will have enjoyed the wonderful bring and share supper celebrating Julian’s many years as our vicar. This was a wonderful occasion for us all to wish him well in his new ventures.


On the 7th January, John Holden (my deputy), Linda, Claire and I met with our Archdeacon the Venerable Peter Rouch. With Peter we went through the Interregnum process and our own plans. I am pleased to let you know that Peter is taking our services at both churches on the 27th January.


My first role will be to ensure we maintain our normal level of services wherever possible. A huge thanks needs to go out to Marion Swinerd here for immediately stepping up to work on our church schedule of services. This meant that I could make an early approach for support from the Diocese who have already made arrangements for stand in clergy. This includes plans to cover a wedding and a few baptisms and we are already discussing our plans for the Holy week.


You will of course continue to see the familiar faces of Jean and Jim along with many others leading and speaking at services. I am hopeful that apart from a few new faces, you will see little change at all at our two churches.


Can I also reassure you that we have already started the vacancy process which typically takes up to 9 months. There will be many of us involved in writing a suitable job profile and advert, no doubt designed to appeal to the best candidates for Nursling and Rownhams. Please be assured that your leadership team of volunteers will very much have their say in who will be coming to lead us in the future. I personally find that very reassuring as I know we couldn’t hope for a better PCC team with a huge variety of opinions, skills and life experiences to bring to those discussions.


I am acutely aware that Julian did an awful lot behind the scenes. Many people have already stepped up to support John and me in taking on those roles. Please do speak to one of us if you feel you have something you can offer in support. Please continue to pray as I know that is just as important for our success going forwards.


Special thanks to those putting in lots of extra hours in terms of planning for the months ahead. Shortly after hearing Julian’s news in early December, I held an emergency forward planning meeting. So many of you dropped your plans and came along to support me with ideas and promises of support. I am very confident, because of you all, and those who have approached me with advice and assistance already, that we will pull together to hold our parish’s course in its mission and life.


We will, of course, miss Julian greatly. Many of you were understandably visibly upset by the news and this is a testament to what a wonderful leader he has been for such a long period.


As James and Sarah said in their statement, which I have attached below, this is a sad time. Please do not hesitate to grab me in church or give me a call if you have any questions or would just like to talk to someone following Julian’s news.


As Theresa May said on the 12th December, ‘I stand ready’. I cannot promise to finish the job as she plans to do. I will also be going through a period of changes in my day job. I will do all I can for as long as I can, but I am confident that our team here stands ready to finish the job and will find you the new vicar.


Your churchwarden, Jo Watson



We are sad to hear that the Revd Julian Williams is planning to leave the Anglican Churches in Nursling and Rownhams.  Julian’s long years of service in the parish have had a great positive impact on your communities.  The Deanery and Diocese stand ready to help you find a new Vicar.  In the Deanery Pastoral Reorganisation Plan, endorsed by the Deanery on 1st Feb 2018, it was agreed that there would be no changes planned for Nursling and Rownhams.  This means that you should be able to start the recruitment process promptly.  In the meantime, we will pray for the people in Nursling and Rownhams, as well as Julian as he starts the next part of his journey.


James Pitkin (Area Dean) and Sarah Boothman (Lay Chair)