New Vicar starts at Horton and Wraysbury as Christian faith begins “fight back”
The new Vicar of Horton and Wraysbury has taken up residence, with a steer from his predecessor to stay true to the Bible amid signs of that the Christian faith is beginning to “fight back”. Following his interview in March the Reverend Colin Gibson has taken up residence as the new vicar for the parishes of Wraysbury and Horton. Prior to moving to Wraysbury he trained as a curate in Rotherham and served as a vicar in Sheffield and just outside Birmingham, but was keen to move to the village after meeting parishioners earlier in the year:
“You were so warm and friendly that I really hoped you would let me come and be your vicar, and I was absolutely delighted when you did. I’m looking forward very much to getting to know you all a lot better after we have moved in this summer.”
Colin introduced himself via the church monthly newsletter. Married to Elisa, who is from Finland, and a fan of all things Finnish, he has four children and has recently become a grandfather at 58. Having had little contact with the Church or Christianity in general in his early life, the Reverend found God in his teens. He says:
At 17 I found out that God has made a way for us to know him through His Son, and it completely bowled me over when God’s love came into my life through Jesus Christ. That life-changing encounter has stayed with me ever since. It is my motivation to see every person as deeply loved, and my inspiration to try and base my ministry on the twin poles of God and people.
The new vicar also plays the guitar, writes poetry and loves the countryside. The Reverend Simon Douglas Lane retired on 31st January after 8 years as vicar. He told churchgoers shortly before retiring:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you have as well! The Vicar’s role has become more difficult since last year but there are signs that the Christian faith is beginning to fight back.”
However, a turbulent time for the church locally is expected with anything up to 6 vacancies in the Deanery expected in the next few years Referring to a whole range of issues that have “brought church and state into collision” and internal disputes “which have not assisted the proclamation of the Gospel”, the Reverend deferred recommendations for the future to his successors.
“All I would say is that the interregnum will test all kinds of talents and ministry in the congregations and I urge prayerful commitment to keeping everything going…”
However he urged the continuation of a “biblically based” ministry:
“The main steer I would give is to ensure that the ministry both lay and ordained continues to be biblically based so that a clear difference can be seen between a life with Christ and one without Him, and in the difference we attract rather than repel”.
Originally not expected to be on board until nearer Christmas, the new Vicar’s ministry at St Michael’s Horton and St Andrews Wraysbury began on July 10th.