Delight for Portsmouth priest Father Bob White as he is appointed to be an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen

A CITY priest will soon be brushing shoulders with royalty after he was appointed to be an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen

Friday, 19th April 2019, 1:37 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd April 2019, 8:07 pm
Father Bob White speaks at an annual carol service at St Mary's Church in Fratton. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151891-1)
Father Bob White speaks at an annual carol service at St Mary's Church in Fratton. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151891-1)

Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary’s Church in Fratton, will be one of around only 30 clergy members from across the UK to take on the role, it was announced yesterday.

The honour is awarded to those who have given long and distinguished service to the church and it will enable Father White to preach once a year in the Chapel Royal at St James’ Palace.

The Queen's household attends the services, as does the Queen when she is in residence.

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Fr White, 58, who has worked as a priest for 34 years, said: ‘I am both honoured and humbled to receive this appointment.

‘I believe it is a recognition of the ministry I share with colleagues across the diocese faithfully serving our parishes and communities.’

In his new post, Fr White will be given a scarlet cassock to wear as a sign of office.

He will be officially welcomed into the role at a garden party at the end of May, which it is expected will be attended by members of the Royal Family.

Fr White, who has been vicar at St Mary’s since 2000, also serves as the clergy chairman for the diocese’s decision-making body, the Diocesan Synod.

He said the commencement of his new duties will be a ‘thrill’ – and has hailed the work he and his colleagues currently do to be as important as ever.

‘I thoroughly enjoy my job and it’s all about serving people, serving God and showing that church is very much part of the community and bringing people into contact with what we believe is important in life,’ he said.

‘The world is constantly changing and the society we live in now is very different to the one I started serving in, but there is still a sense in which the church seeks to constantly be a presence in communities and to respond to the many challenges and needs we face, as well as all the good things.’

The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster, said: ‘This recognition of an outstanding parish priest, whose whole ordained ministry has been in this diocese, signals the value the Queen and the Church of England places on the pastoral, missional and spiritual leadership shown by parish clergy.

‘Bob’s service to parishes, deaneries and the diocese continues to be exemplary and we are thrilled by this honour.’