REJOICE IN OUR NEW RECTOR!
On September 3rd 2014, the Revd Felicity Davies was inducted as the 50th Rector of the Parish of St Giles’. At a special service charmingly conducted by Bishop Pete, the Bishop of Willesdon, and witnessed by a capacity congregation in St Giles’ Church with an overflow congregation eagerly watching via an A/V link in the Church Hall, Felicity was duly admitted and installed. As a sign of the start of her ministry, she was handed the keys of the church and tolled the church bell.
In his sermon, Bishop Pete paid tribute to the St Giles’ lay folk for the fantastic job they had done to maintain the church routine during the vacancy. “Now you’ve got your new incumbent,” he said, “you’ve got to work together as a team. The adventure is just beginning. To be true Christians we have to serve each other. That’s what we are praying for and may God bring it to pass.”
The service included an opportunity for members of the community to welcome Felicity personally. These were: Sadie Wright from the Deanery Synod; Duncan Struthers on behalf of all Christian Churches in the Borough; Celia Miller from Ickenham’s URC, who stressed the importance of the Covenant between the two churches, trusting it will go from strength-to-strength; Philip Rutter on behalf of schools in the Parish; and Jill Dalton on behalf of the residents, traders and businesses.
Holy Communion was conducted by the Bishop, the Area Dean and Felicity, after which, in her new capacity of Rector, she was invited to announce the times of forthcoming services. The service was concluded with the hymn ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ and refreshments afterwards were taken in the Church Hall, which gave Felicity a first opportunity to chat with her new parishioners.
Felicity was born into a Congregational (now URC) family where her father was a lay preacher and her mother an occasional organist. When Felicity was seven or eight, she was inspired in Sunday School one week by the story of Dr Livingstone and wanted to be a missionary doctor. She had this vision of being attacked by a lion or tiger and God coming to save her! The Christian faith has always been an important part of her life.
“I met Tony on a blind date,” she told ICN. “We got engaged after six weeks and married after six months. We have a son, Matthew, now aged 31 and daughter Jo aged 29. I trained as a clinical pharmacist, developing special interests which included palliative care. It was my perfect job, but God made it clear that he wanted me to become a minister.
“After 28 years in pharmacy I commenced Theology training at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, taking what was a three-year degree course in two years. From there I served my title post as a Curate in East Sussex in a benefice of three Parish Churches before coming to Ickenham to work at St Giles’.
“St Giles’ is a beautiful old building where you can feel the prayers of previous generations. Today’s people are vibrant and friendly and couldn’t have given us a warmer welcome, and that applies to everyone, not just the church congregation. Having encountered the wonderful community spirit, Tony and I can now see why you call this place ‘Ickenham village’. People tend to turn to the church when there are crises in their lives and we hope they will allow us to serve them and feel that the church is relevant at every stage and incident in their lives.
“Tony and I have settled in really quickly and feel very privileged to live in this interesting ‘arts and crafts’ Rectory. I hope that being right next door to the URC will make it easier to nurture the relationship between the two churches.
“As you already know, gardening is one of our great loves. In the fullness of time we hope to create a herb garden and vegetable plot, and, excitingly, a prayer garden. We are very much looking forward to our time here and we know we shall be very happy.”
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED - St Giles’ Church Back Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm.
Come for a friendly and informal chat over a cup of tea with other bereaved people and bereavement visitors. No need to book, just come along. The next meeting is on Monday 20th October,
(then Monday 17th November after that).