Church News


With the recent loss of Revd Geoff Daw, our parishes are now in an interregnum, the term used in the Anglican Communion to describe the period before a new parish priest is appointed to fill the vacancy. Churchwardens, together with the Rural Dean, automatically become Sequestrators, i.e., trustees of the income and property of the benefice and the administration of the parish lies with the Churchwardens.

A vacancy does not relieve Churchwardens of any duties or responsibilities – on the contrary, there are many requirements made of them. They continue to be required “to use their best endeavours by example and precept, to encourage the parishioners in the practice of the true religion” and to promote unity and peace among the parishioners. In addition, they have to follow strict guidelines including taking possession of all PCC books (normally held by the incumbent), organising the visiting clergy for services and supporting them, looking after the church, churchyard and managing the parsonage and holding the AGM if it falls in this period.

They are also required to hold a meeting within 4 weeks of the vacancy to prepare a statement describing the conditions, needs and traditions of the parish for potential clergy to see if they are interested in the position, appoint two lay members to the PCC in connection with the selection of a new incumbent and make decisions about advertising the vacancy.

On receiving interest (presentation) from a priest under the age of 70, there are various stages before the incumbent is instituted and then inducted and the Churchwardens, amongst other things, must ensure a notice is displayed on the church door as to the intention and it has to remain there for two weeks. The process of selection and presentation must be completed within 9 months beginning with the date on which the benefice becomes vacant.
There is a comment on the notes made by the late Hon Sir John Owen (amongst many ecclesiastical achievements he was Chairman of the Churchwardens Association) which says, “With presentation, institution and induction, Churchwardens may be tempted to sit back and let the new incumbent get on with it: This temptation should be resisted”. No doubt, our dutiful Churchwardens will not be sitting back!

Up-to-date news:

During the interregnum services are under the wing of Canon Richard Moatt, who is looking after all the churches in the Benefice; everyone is delighted with his ministry until we have a permanent vicar appointed. Any services he can’t cover Rev Frank Fox-Wilson and Rev Mary Sitwell have been taking. At Rodmell, if for any reason no priest is available our Churchwardens Jenny Brown and Anne Roberts lead the Celtic service and Mattins/Family Service.

The church now owns a folding wheelchair, which will be kept in the church. If anybody would like to borrow it either for services or other purposes, please call Jenny Brown on 01273 473939.

Vacancy for an organist

Sadly, we are losing Lorna, our regular organist for St. Peters, and are looking for a replacement for ONE Sunday a month. This can be a paid position, and at the moment the Sunday can be the applicant’s choice.

If you’d like to know more please call 01273 473939.

The Parish Magazine

Publication of the magazine in its usual form was made impossible by the COVID crisis, and it has been decided not to return to full physical distribution. If you would like to receive it by email, please contact the editor, Anna MacLeod, at

The new format of the magazine is easily printable on A4. You can view and download the current and past editions here:

Parish Magazine June 2023

Parish Magazine May 2023

Parish Magazine April

Parish Magazine March

Parish Magazine February

Parish Magazine January

Further information from our Churchwardens:

Jenny Brown – 01273 473939,
Anne Roberts –

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