New vicar’s Zoom induction service

THE vicar of Christ Church Woking has been licensed by the Bishop of Guildford online in one of the first such remote services in the country.

The Rev Adrian Beavis was appointed vicar earlier this year but the service of Institution and Induction had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Rev Adrian Beavis, bottom right, being licensed by Rt Rev Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford, top left. They are being watched by the Rev Martin Breadmore, Archdeacon of Surrey, top right and Steve Roberts, the parochial church council secretary of Christ Church Woking

A simpler licensing service with Bishop Andrew Watson, using Zoom, the online conferencing app, was then set up after legal checks were made.

The service, which is needed before Adrian could carry out his duties as vicar, was viewed by about 20 people, including family in other parts of the country who might not have been able to attend a service in Surrey.

The vicar said his wife and daughter were able to sit on the sofa next to him in their home in Horsell.

“It was a very special service, in spite of the circumstances,” said Adrian, who has moved to Woking after being vicar of St Luke’s in Earls Court for 12 years.

The Rev Adrian Beavis

“More of my family were able to join in the online service, as my brother could join from Sheffield, my mother and sister from Birmingham and it was very special to be licensed by Bishop Andrew. He was my vicar and boss when I was first started in the ministry 20 years ago at St Stephens in Twickenham.”

Adrian said he applied to be vicar at Christ Church because it was the sort of dynamic church that he was looking for.

“I wanted to come to a church with a real diversity of ages. Woking is quite a diverse town and undergoing quite a lot of change.

“The Church is up for change and trying new things that are relevant to a town in the 21st century.”

Adrian said Woking was also convenient for his wife’s work at the Ministry of Justice in central London.

“This is a good place to bring up family and there is a strong kids’ ministry in the church.”

The lockdown has meant that Adrian has not been able to set foot in the church building but has been conducting online services that are attended remotely by about 750 people every week

“Most of our midweek groups are meeting online.  ‘The church’ is the people, not a building, and the people of Christ Church are still in good heart and doing all they can show God’s love to their neighbours at this time,” Adrian said. 

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