THE churches of St Mark’s, Wyke and St Michael and All Angels, Pirbright, have welcomed a new vicar to take charge of their parishes.

The institution, induction and installation of the Rev George Watkinson was carried out at St Mark’s – which is the parish church of Normandy – to create a new ministry between the two churches.

The service was conducted by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, and the Archdeacon of Surrey, the Venerable Paul Davies. Members of both parishes joined together to witness the special event.

Richard Whittington, Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, representing The Lord Chancellor’s Office, and The Mayor and Mayoress of Guildford, Dennis and Mary Booth, also attended.

A number of clergy who have been supporting both churches in recent years took part in the service, along with representatives from both villages to welcome Mr Watkinson. These included the chairmen of Pirbright and Normandy parish councils, the Rev Gary Williamson from St Michael and All Angels, Normandy Scout Group and Wyke Primary Academy.

Mr Watkinson was previously a curate at Holy Trinity, Brompton in the Diocese of London. He commented: “We are delighted to be moving to Pirbright and Wyke.

“I am married to Anna, and we have two young children, Sofia, aged five, and Edith aged two. We have spent the last two-and-a-half years serving at Holy Trinity Brompton, and before that we were at Christ Church in Winchester, where I was curate.

“As a family we very much enjoy meeting new people and building community, as well as exploring new places and walks in the countryside. I am so looking forward to this new role and seeing what God has in store for us as a church in this new season.

“I hope parishioners will get in touch. I would be delighted to meet people.”