THE BOWBROOK group of churches now has a new priest-in-charge after Rev David Morris was licensed at Hanbury Church by the Bishop of Worcester John Inge on a sunny Sunday morning (April 13).
The role will see him work closely with Rev Wyn Beynon at Stoke Prior, Wychbold and Upton Warren and the union is such that Bishop John has licensed each of them to work as associate priests at the other’s parish.
This is Rev Morris’ first paid full-time ministry after a career in logistics, although he was ordained as a self-supporting minister four years ago.
Rev Morris, who was the supply chain solutions manager for a healthcare company, said it fulfilled a long-standing sense he had of being called to rural ministry.
“I’m looking forward to serving the people in these different rural communities – and especially to working with their schools.” he added.
Rev Morris arrived with his wife Kerry, who teaches business studies at Worcester Sixth-Form College, and two daughters Hannah and Abigal.
They were given a warm welcome from a congregation and choir drawn from 12 churches of the parishes, easily filling Hanbury Church – a place of worship made famous by the hit radio show The Archers.
In her sermon, Nikki Groarke, the Archdeacon of Dudley, said the parishes had been looking forward ‘to working flexibly and collaboratively’ and looking for an ‘imaginative priest’.
She added: “David has been worth waiting for.”
Bishop John said: “I’m delighted to be able to license David who’s no stranger to this part of the world.
“He brings to his new role very extensive experience in the secular world, and many gifts which will enable him to minster effectively.”
And Hanbury churchwarden Judith Burman said “We’re looking forward to working with a man who is so clearly full of warmth and enthusiasm.”
Bishop John, Rev David Morris and Nikki Groarke with the church wardens. Picture by Doug Chaplin. s