Update on proposed changes to the Parish in 2018

Well, here we are, nearing the end of another year and once again it has been a year of change, not least in our own Parish.

Most readers will know that following the retirement of our Minister Nigel Knights Johnson in January the Diocese of Guildford formulated a scheme to split the Parish into the two parts which existed up until 1992, with the Ockley part being joined with Capel as the Parish of Capel and Ockley, and the Oakwood Hill and Forest Green part amalgamating with the Parish of Ewhurst to form a new Parish of Ewhurst with Okewood & Forest Green.

The Rectory will not be sold but is being retained by the Diocese and will be let. The rationale behind the scheme is to ensure the ongoing vibrant mission and ministry, underpinned by financial viability, in the Parishes of Ewhurst, Ockley, Okewood, Forest Green and Capel.

Each new Parish will have a full time Minister – Liz Richardson, the Vicar of Capel  will look after Capel and Ockley and a new Minister is yet to be appointed for the new Parish of Ewhurst with Okewood & Forest Green.

The scheme has just finished its initial consultation period – a period of 6 weeks when the scheme was reviewed and considered by the Parochial Church Councils, the Ministers and Clergy of each of the affected Parishes, and is now going through a second 6 week period of consultation by parishioners and the public at large which comes to an end by the new year.

Once the second consultation period is completed the scheme is referred to the Church Commissioners for ratification and will then come into effect.

Our very popular Ordained Local Minister John Marsh will be licensed to serve in both or either of the newly created Parishes.

The Churchwardens and Lay Leadership are working hard to maintain our customary weekly Services at all our Churches and as you will see from the enclosed Christmas card all the usual Christmas Services will be held.

Numerous meetings have been held between both the Churchwardens and PCC members from all the affected Parishes and there is a great deal of goodwill on all sides and a determination to make the changes successful.

Barry Thomson

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