Sunday, 22 September 2019

Parish priest to leave after eight years for new challenge

Parish priest to leave after eight years for new challenge

THE parish priest for Whitchurch and Whitchurch Hill is to step down next month.

Rev Claire Alcock, who joined the Langtree team ministry as a curate in 2010 and completed her training in 2014, has been appointed vicar of St John and St Stephen’s Church in Reading.

She says she has enjoyed serving the villages but wanted a new challenge and was also seeking a full-time role.

Her new job will involve working with a primary school attached to the church and this appealed to her as she used to be a teacher. Her final service will be at St Mary’s Church in Whitchurch at 9.30am on Sunday, September 15, followed by a farewell reception at the Old Stables parish room in the high street.

Rev Alcock, 54, lives in Whitchurch with her husband Chris, an English teacher and rowing coach at Shiplake College, and the couple have three grown-up children.

She grew up in Surrey and studied at the University of Reading before going into teaching in Sussex. She later undertook theological training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, a Church of England training college in Oxford, before taking her current job. Rev Alcock said: “I’ve enjoyed being part of a great team of ministers and working in an area with such a strong sense of community but I felt ready to move on.

“It will be difficult to leave such a beautiful area with such wonderful people. I’ve had a lot of messages of congratulation and support from the congregation.”

Rev Kevin Davies, leader of the team ministry, said: “Claire and Chris have contributed hugely to the development of the mission and ministry in Whitchurch and we will miss them both enormously.”

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