Whaley Bridge’s new vicar is here. The Rev Margaret Jones became priest in charge of the parish – Holy Trinity, Whaley Bridge and St James’, Taxal – at an exciting induction service in St James’. The next day – Advent Sunday, the start of the church’s new year – she took her first services in Holy Trinity.
Margaret was licensed as priest by the Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Rev Robert Atwell, supported by many clergy from adjoining parishes. Whaley Bridge, unlike most of the High Peak, is in the Diocese of Chester. Disley, which includes Furness Vale, is also in the same diocese.
Margaret’s whole family came along for the service: two daughters and one son, their spouses and four grandchildren between them, all little girls. As the bishop performed the ceremony, the children wanted to know what was going on.
As the serious part ended, Poppy, aged 21 months was the first to run over to Granny who picked her up. Then in turn, Isabelle, five and Aliza, four, joined Gran, oblivious to the big congregation. But Poppy was the showstealer, with her pink specs (at one time, Margaret had to say: “Be quiet Poppy!”) But there was no way of keeping baby Elsie, aged five months, quiet. She just shouted out whenever she felt like it. The congregation and the many visiting clergy loved it.
The Bishop described Margaret as a “special person – Whaley Bridge is blessed to have her.” He added that Advent was not only a new year for the church, but a new day for the parish.
The Bishop noted Margaret’s career as a teacher, much of it as an RE teacher. He said she would be taking a great interest in the Whaley Bridge area schools, adding: “The schools are a key to the growth of the parish.”
A special edition of the parish magazine will be available, free, at the usual outlets later this week. Watch out on the Whaley Bridge website for details of Christmas services at all the churches here.