Confirmation of our new vicar from the bishop
"The Bishops of Rochester and Tonbridge are delighted to announce that The Revd Jessica Smith is to be the next Priest-in-Charge (Vicar-designate) for Holy Trinity, Beckenham and St John's, Penge.
Jessica has just completed her curacy at St Francis of Assisi, Strood, which is a busy town-centre parish in the Medway Towns.
She has a real passion for and commitment to the community, and is looking forward to building on the excellent links already in place and finding new opportunities to demonstrate Jesus' love for all. It is clear the outward-looking focus of both Holy Trinity and St John's will suit Jessica very well, and she is looking forward to getting to know both church families and working with them as they come together with a shared vision and purpose.
Before training for ordination at Ridley Hall, Jessica spent 20 years in education where she taught French to grammar school students - and for more than a decade was Head of the Modern Languages Department. She is an enthusiastic musician, playing violin and piano in the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, as well as singing in the Rochester Choral Society.
Please do hold Jessica in your prayers as she prepares to move in readiness for her new ministry in the parish."
Jessica's licensing as the new vicar for Holy Trinity with St John's is on Wednesday 13th October, 7:30pm at St John's Church, Penge.
Future plans For
St John's and
Holy trinity SE20
We want to announce an exciting, new and unique situation in our church and local area.
St John’s, Penge currently has a vacancy for a new vicar. At the same time, Nick Read, the vicar at Holy Trinity SE20 in Lennard Road, is approaching retirement. These two churches are within a few hundred yards of each other and will be going through change at the same time. Holy Trinity and St John’s are similar in style, approach and priorities, with committed congregations dedicated to serving God through social outreach within, and for, the local area as part of their worship. They also face comparable challenges in relation to this service, both in terms of people power and of finances.
Given the proximity of the two churches to one another, the two vacancies, and their resemblance in size, income and outlook, we plan to merge St John’s and Holy Trinity into one church to benefit us all, to consolidate our resources and to enable us to better serve God and our community together. We see this as embracing a fuller, more powerful version of our existing identities.
The merger will involve appointing one vicar but retaining both church buildings; having one church family but retaining both heritages; having one voice but carried and influenced by all of our members. We will have one vision that is shaped by us all, as we seek God’s will together.
As we have been considering this new phase in our church’s life, we are reminded of God’s words to the people of Israel:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”