It is with a great sense of excited anticipation that I sit down to write a few words of self introduction to you this morning. My name is Fr Murray Aldridge-Collins and subject to all the usual legal and administrative processes running smoothly, very soon I will begin serving you as your new Vicar. Over time it is my hope that we will all get to know each other well as we journey forward as the Christian family in Lower and Over Peover. But in the meantime your church wardens and I thought it might be helpful to share a little something about myself with you.
I was born and raised in Eastbourne East Sussex where at the tender young age of eight I started attending church as a chorister and have been a committed Christian ever since. Before Ordination I worked as a Mental Health Nurse In London, Bristol and South Devon. It was while living in Devon that my Vicar encouraged me to seriously think about ordained ministry. After a time of discernment With the Diocese I was accepted for training, went on to study pastoral theology at St Stephens House in Oxford and was ordained in Exeter Cathedral in 2015. During the final stages of my curacy I began to think about where God might be calling me to serve next. I have family who live nearby in Bramhall so began looking at posts in both Exeter and Chester Dioceses.
It was then that I came across your advert and parish profiles. As I read your story, I quickly realised that the passion you described for your parishes; your deep desire to see your churches grow in faith and the deep sense of calling you have as a Christian family to reach out and serve at the centre of your local community were all aspirations I share.
So I applied and (to cut a long story short) was delighted to not only be invited to interview for the position of your new Vicar, but to be offered the post too! So God willing I will be with you soon. In the meantime can I please assure you that you are all in my prayers and may I ask that you continue to pray for me too.
Yours in Christ,