The congregation of St Lawrence’s Church, Biddulph, recently welcomed their new vicar, the Rev Will Drain.
The service, the traditional Anglican ceremony of institution and induction, began with a welcome by the rural dean, the Rev Nigel Irons.
After two gospel readings and a sermon given by Bishop of Lichfield the Rev Dr Michael Ipgrave, Mr Drain was presented by the patron, the Rev Mike Duff. This was followed by the declaration and oaths led by the archdeacon of Stoke-on-Trent, the Ven Dr Megan Smith.
Dr Ipgrave read out the letter of institution and then the Mr Drain was “inducted and installed by the archdeacon”.
As a final part of the ancient ceremony the new incumbent was led, by the churchwardens, to the belfry where a bell was tolled to signify his entry into the incumbency.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the local community who included Coun Chris Perkins, deputy town mayor of Biddulph, Lorraine Jukes, representing Biddulph’s schools and the Rev Anne Coates, representing local churches.
After being welcomed by them, Mr Drain was also welcomed, via video, by St Lawrence’s Kenyan Mission partners from St Paul’s Church in Syonglia. The service concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist.
Mr Drain moved to Biddulph with his wife, Rachel, and his two children, Beth and Dan, from Romiley, Stockport where he was a curate.
A celebratory tea party to welcome the Drain family will be held in St Lawrence’s Church Hall on Saturday.