From Harold Stephens, New Team Rector of Dorchester
By now everyone will be aware that I am coming to Dorchester as the new
Team Rector, some time in October. Carol, my wife, and I are
delighted at the prospect of becoming part of the Anglican presence in
the town. We look forward to working with you all and engaging in
the life of the whole community – both town and our villages of
I am coming from the Benefice of the Lavingtons, Cheverells and
Easterton, near Devizes in the north of the Diocese. I have been
Rector there since 1999, having previously been a priest working as a
Comprehensive School Deputy Head.
My background in education has, you will not be surprised to read,
inspired important aspects of my ministry. I serve as chair of
the Diocesan Board of Education’s Schools Committee and serve as
a Church School inspector (occasionally). More importantly I have
placed a great emphasis on the teaching ministry of the Church to help
build up the confidence of those who are members of the Church as well
as to communicate the faith to others we hope to draw into its
However, and at its core, the Church exists as the Body of Christ and
must try to help all to come closer to the spiritual realities of our
existence. Our worship and our pastoral care, our service to our
community and our voice within it are all to be driven by an
understanding of a Church which is inclusive. This understanding
is of a Church that does not draw up the drawbridge of a
“fortress” or which regards the world out there as
something to escape from. Rather we are called to engage with and
recognise that we are a part of the community and society around
us. We seek to transform and challenge society not decry it and
My licensing service will take place at St. Mary's on October the 12th
at 7.30 p.m. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
However, if you would like to join me on my special "Pilgrimage
(I shall be walking with any who wish to join me for any part of it)
which will take me from West Stafford through the town to visit our
Church schools and Churches, out to Winterborne Monkton and then ending
at St. Mary's. The timings for this are published elsewhere.
Thus, as I join the Team which serves the Town and villages so well, I
hope you will pray for me as I will for all of you as we find my way
around and come to know you all.
Team Rector designate.