Julieann Watson, the Vicar of St Barnabas with Christchurch has made an announcement to her congregation over this weekend, saying:
My last Sunday service in the parish is currently going to be 24th October and I shall be gone formally from my post and the Vicarage by 24th November. I will have been here for exactly 7 years.
We count Julieann as a good friend at St Wulstans and will miss her very much. We want to assure St Barnabas, and the wardens Rachel and Mary of our love and support.
Julieann explains: “We are now part of the new large Worcester Deanery which became formal on 4 February, and discussions have been happening about the deployment of stipendiary clergy across it. Old boundaries are loosening and our parish is not immune. Naturally, we would want to be a part of those discussions. So, I am telling you about my intentions very early to give the chance for an outcome for this parish which we can believe in. Whether we shall have a like for like replacement for me is hard to say … The future may well be as a Cluster Group Ministry, sharing resources. Each church has its strengths and we all have much to offer each other. So, when it comes to deciding how this post will be filled, we can surely expect this parish within the wider new deanery and cluster churches to have a place – there is likely to be some merging and sharing. This merging and sharing will not only be about paid clergy, but of all resources between us. I want to encourage you to be open to this … Diane, Sarah and I have met with Archdeacon Robert recently and for now he suggests that we carry on building our friendship together as we have been.”