Whilst Rev. Katherine Pickering is still very much with us and making her mark in so many ways, she decided this summer to move on in August 2018. The Circuit therefore entered the Stationing process, hoping to be matched with a Presbyter to replace Katherine next September.
Our Circuit Invitations Committee prepared a "profile" of the circuit and the forthcoming vacancy. Along with 145 other appointment profiles, this was circulated to ministers intending to move, and we received 85 profiles of available ministers.
The Committee prepared a shortlist of ministers, and each minister a shortlist of circuits.
The Connexional Stationing panel met in early November, and matched us with Rev. Jocelyn Bennett, currently working in the Hyde & Denton circuit. A visit was arranged, and Jocelyn and her husband Neil visited Milton, Great Western Park, Wallingford and Didcot on Saturday 18th November. After they set out for Manchester later that day, the committee discussed the match and unanimously agreed that we would invite her. Over the phone the following evening, she was pleased to accept. So next August, Jocelyn and Neil, and their teenage son Elliott, will move into the manse in Lydalls Close, to start work in our Circuit at the beginning of September.
Meanwhile, Katherine and Ian visited the South-west Worcester circuit, and she in turn was invited to fill their post, and she accepted; so she will take up her new appointment in charge of two churches in Worcester at the same time.
Grateful thanks are due to all those who gave their time and effort in the three churches to make Jocelyn's visit a success.
Rev. Helen Cameron, new Chair of the Northampton District, joins us in celebrating all this good news!