They were queuing to get in!

Rarely do we see such crowds at St. Luke’s but the members of St. Luke’s, Goostrey and St. Peter’s, Swettenham churches were out in force on Saturday, April 2nd 2011 to welcome their new Vicar, the Reverend Ian Godfrey.

They came from near and far – with a coach load of supporters of Ian’s friends from his last Church in Mill Hill, London. Many B & Bs in the surrounding villages had guests from around the country who had come to support their friend and pastor as he takes up his new role of Vicar of the two rural parishes.

A procession of choir and clergy started from the village school to be met at the door of St. Luke’s by the Bishop of Chester, Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Forster, the recently-appointed Archdeacon of Macclesfield, the Venerable Ian Bishop and the Rural Dean of Congleton, Revd. Canon David Taylor.

There were representatives from numerous civic, religious and other bodies who were invited to formally welcome Ian and his wife, Audrey to Cheshire.

The Institution and Installation Service followed time-honoured traditions of the Church of England including the tolling of the Bell – to announce that Ian had taken up the Office.

At the conclusion of the Service, which had some wonderful celebratory music, the packed congregation moved to Swettenham where a group of ladies from both Churches had prepared a feast worthy of the occasion. The London visitors were sent home with very happy memories of their day in Cheshire (and supplies of some of the excellent cakes which been baked for the party!)

Under Ian’s leadership both Churches are looking forward to developing their worship and are anticipating a renewal of their work within the two communities. Things are happening in Goostrey and Swettenham!