Thank you all very much for your support and prayers, as we have sought to find a new Vicar for the two parishes of our benefice.

We are delighted to let you know that the Bishop has offered the post of Vicar of Seal Chart and Underriver to the Revd Serena Willoughby, whom some of you will already know from her previous ministry in the Sevenoaks Deanery and from some services which she has taken in our benefice during the vacancy period. Serena’s appointment as our Vicar is part-time alongside a separate post as Chaplain at Bethany School, near Goudhurst.

Serena is very much local to our area, having attended Bennet Memorial School in Royal Tunbridge Wells before attending Oak Hill Theological College in North London. She was ordained at St Barnabas Church in St Paul’s Cray, Orpington and spent the following years alternating between ministry work (at both St John’s and St Stephen’s in Tonbridge) and teaching positions at Hillview School and Tonbridge Grammar School. In 2006 she was appointed vicar of St George’s in nearby Sevenoaks Weald and held that post for eight years, before accepting a role as Chaplain at Christ’s School, Richmond-upon-Thames. Serena’s hobbies include ballet, reading and walking her dog.

We are very excited at the prospect of Serena’s appointment and look forward to her and John and their family moving into the vicarage during the summer holiday period and to the Collation and Induction Service on 3 September, when the Bishop of Rochester will come to Commission Serena for this new chapter in her ministry.

Serena Willoughby

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