CHURCHES in Shoreham are facing major change, after a parish reorganisation took effect on Sunday.
The move sees two new benefices being created, to replace the three of Old Shoreham, New Shoreham and Kingston Buci, and the links between churches have altered.
The new benefice of Old Shoreham and Kingston Buci unites St Nicolas’ Church with St Giles’ and St Julian’s, while New Shoreham and Shoreham Beach unites St Mary de Haura with the Church of the Good Shepherd.
St Nicolas’ and St Mary de Haura had been linked since 1897, sharing a vicar but with each church having its own Parochial Church Council.
Now, the Rev Ann Waizeneker will be in charge of New Shoreham and Shoreham Beach, leaving a vacancy in the new Old Shoreham and Kingston Buci benefice.
John Simpson, treasurer at St Nicolas’, said: “In some ways, it is still a work in progress, because we are still waiting for the official paperwork before we can start sorting out a lot of practical details.
On a personal note, it is both sad and a little odd to cease to be the Priest in Charge for St Nicolas, but to still be living in ShorehamThe Rev Ann Waizeneker
“However, as of Sunday, St Nicolas’ is technically joined to St Julian’s and St Giles’ as a new benefice.
“Until a new priest is appointed, services will be covered by priests from other Shoreham churches and retired priests.”
The last issue of the monthly Old + New magazine was published on Sunday, explaining the changes.
Mr Simpson said: “As its title shows, it covered Old Shoreham (St Nicolas’) and New Shoreham (St Mary’s). We at St Nicolas’ are producing a common weekly newsletter with St Julian’s and St Giles’. It is still a work in progress to some extent and may change when we get a new priest.”
Ms Waizeneker said any change was challenging and asked parishioners to pray for the ‘new-look’ Shoreham.
“On a personal note, it is both sad and a little odd to cease to be the Priest in Charge for St Nicolas, but to still be living in Shoreham,” she added. “However, I hope that this will be of benefit when a new vicar arrives, so that we can continue to work closely together.
“I have made many friends here and it is good to still be part of this close-knit community.”
St Nicolas’ dates back to the 10th century and St Mary de Haura to the 11th century.
St Giles’ was built in 1906 to serve the workhouse and in 1912, a chapel was built in Bungalow Town, now Church of the Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach.
Mother Philippa, Mother Superior at The Convent of the Sacred Passion in Shoreham, explained: “The purpose of the reorganisation is to even up the population within each parish, which at the moment varies greatly, and to reduce the overall cost of resourcing the parishes.
“Some of the parish boundaries will be re-drawn, perhaps most significantly part of Kingston Buci and St Nicolas’ parishes will become part of St Mary’s, currently by far the smallest parish in population numbers.
“The cost of half the stipend of one incumbent will be saved by re-grouping the churches into two benefices instead of the present three i.e: the link between St Mary and St Nicolas’ will be dissolved and new benefice formed of St Nicolas’ and Kingston Buci and a second benefice formed by linking the Church of the Good Shepherd with St Mary’s.
“This is all part of the evolution of the Church to serve the needs of the people of the area in the present day.”