New union for priests to reach out to more people

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PRIESTS have decided to pool forces to help reach more of the area’s worshippers.

Two priests will commit themselves to a pioneering arrangement this weekend, which will see them both in charge of a parish, and accept an additional supporting role as associate priest in the other’s parish.

Therefore The Rev Phillip Amey will become the new priest-in-charge of Church of the Holy Spirit, in Fawcett Road, Southsea, and he will also be licensed as associate priest of St James, Milton.

The Rev Paul Armstead will become priest-in-charge of St James Church, Milton Road, Milton, and will also be associate priest at Church of the Holy Spirit.

The new roles will be licensed by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, at a service on Sunday.

And to mark the unity between the churches, half of the service will take place in one church and half in the other.

It is the first time it has happened in the Portsmouth diocese and is part of a series of moves designed to encourage parishes to work more closely together.

Portsmouth’s area dean, Canon Bob White, who also chairs the church’s Ministry for Mission group, said: ‘This is a first for us, and it’s an attempt to be flexible in how we encourage collaborative ministry without going down a complicated legal path.’

The service starts at 4pm at St James Church, Milton, followed by a parade.