St John’s, the largest church in Wellington, is still without a vicar despite interviewing four candidates last week. “It’s very disappointing but we didn’t feel able to appoint anyone,” said David Dufour, team administrator for St John’s and its associated parishes.
By mid-summer St John’s will have been without a priest for almost a year. “We will have to trawl again. There is someone out there whose time is coming,” said Archdeacon John Reed, who has management responsibility for the Church of England in the Taunton area.
“Meanwhile, I can’t express enough thanks for the dedication and faithfulness of Judith salter, the Churchwarden at St. John’s, John Elder, David Dufour and the members of the local and Team leadership. They are being fantastic.”
On the face of it one could be surprised that St John’s hasn’t attracted the right candidate. It has a lively congregation, services are well attended and there is a lively programme of events based at the church.
“I’ve seen a lot of churches in my time and St John’s has a lot of positive things going for it,” commented Rev Philip Regan, a retired clergyman living in Wellington who is helping to fill the St John’s gap by taking some services.
“It is a little bit surprising that there hasn’t been an appointment but sometimes it take a parish quite a while to find the right person.”
Mr Regan pointed out that the incumbent at St John’s is also head of a team ministry taking in almost 15 parishes and several clergy. This makes it as much a management position as a priestly one.
“You’re looking for a very wide range of skills and St John’s covers a large geographical area. Having said that, it’s the kind of challenge I would have enjoyed when I was a younger man,” he added.