An introduction to Mark

Mark was previously City Centre Pioneer Minister in the heart of Portsmouth, where he led a tiny and struggling parish congregation into now territory. Together they moved out of the parish church building and into one of the nearby tower blocks, sharing breakfast and stories with resident families as the Sunday Sanctuary. Before that, as curate of St Jude’s, Southsea, he helped establish Friday Fridge – a late night drop-in and chill-out event for pubgoers in the area.

Before ordination, Mark worked for 13 years as a graphic designer. He graduated in Visual Art from Winchester School of Art in the mid-90s and later trained for ordination on the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) course, based in Salisbury. Alongside his pioneering work in two parishes in Portsmouth, he completed an MA in Theology for Christian Ministry and Mission, also from STETS. As part of that he developed an interest in spiritual practices of discernment, particularly in pioneer ministry.

Mark came to faith in his early teens and has a broad church experience. He has been part of house-church, Baptist and URC church communities but found his spiritual home in the Church of England. His background is evangelical and charismatic but he has been profoundly influenced by catholic and contemplative spirituality and theology too. Mark has long been concerned with people at the margins, both of church and society and is passionate about helping people of all ages to encounter, embrace and live-out the life-transforming story of Jesus in ways that take their own stories seriously.

Mark was born in London and grew up in Kent. He moved to Portsmouth twenty years ago chasing a girl who, happily for him, is now his wife. He and Barbara, a primary school teacher, have three children – Elliott, Toby and Lois. Mark loves the cinema, contemporary art and photography. He’s interested in science too – especially cosmology and particle physics, though he makes no pretence to understand either! He enjoys cooking and occasionally runs, especially when he has rather too much enjoyed his own cooking or when he needs to console himself about the fortunes of Portsmouth Football Club.

PASTORAL INTRODUCTION

Mark’s induction service at All Hallows marks the beginning of a new phase of ministry for priest and people. It is one to which all come with a high sense of anticipation of God’s blessing on the years ahead, and it is right that this beginning is marked by a special service both of celebration and of dignity. At the beginning of a new ministry, when the Bishop is the Patron, a priest is collated, inducted and  licensed as Priest-in-Charge.

Before the service

Some features of the service had their origin in the Middle Ages, whilst otheres were relatively new – . This reminds us both that Christian ministry has been offered for centuries, and that the unchanging Gospel has to be proclaimed afresh for each succeeding generation.

Once a priest has been collated or instituted – given the ‘cure of souls’ by the Bishop – the Bishop invites the Archdeacon to induct the Priest into the ‘possession’ of the benefice(s). In this short ceremony, the Priest is in effect given a church building and a home to help in the task given by the Bishop. When a Priest in Charge is licensed, the priest is reminded of the responsibility for the benefice which is shared with the Bishop.

The welcomes are made by both churchpeople and representatives of the wider community, since the role of the Anglican parish priest is not only to nurture the faithful, but also to care for the whole community. The sharing of the Peace then signifies the drawing together in service of the priest, the regular worshippers, and the wider community.

Welcome speeches in “The Lady Bay”

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