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Wishing Rev Steel a very fond farewell.

WHEN it comes to job interviews there is nothing quite as Trollopian as the process by which the Church of England appoints its new vicars and rectors.

It is a proper old, elaborate dance with enough ritual to keep the most conservative parishioner happy.

I was at Kirkheaton Parish Church on Sunday lunchtime to say goodbye to the outgoing rector, Rev Richard Steel (below), who is taking up a new position in Lincolnshire later this summer.

He will undoubtedly be a hard act to follow, having been a key figure in the church's major refurbishment while developing both the spiritual and pastoral sides of the job.

Getting just the right man or woman won't be easy.

The fit has to be right which in this instance means anyone High Church with a fondness for incense and bells is out of the question.

Someone with a Bible-based, Evangelical background who is a good people person is what is required. So, we are not talking about a simple advert in the local paper and a cosy interview with the churchwardens.

As Richard says: "Through tradition, developed over centuries, there are no fewer than four groups involved, working as a partnership - the Bishop, the Patron (s), the Parish Representatives and, in due course, the applicants themselves."

Don't expect to see an appointment until next summer.


Kirkheaton Parish Church

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2016
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