On Wednesday, 5th September, the Revd Jane Manley was welcomed to her new post as Rector of the Aldermaston and Woolhampton Benefice, which covers the parishes of Aldermaston, Beenham, Brimpton, Midgham, Wasing and Woolhampton.
In a beautiful and moving service led by the Bishop of Reading, the Right Revd Andrew Proud, the people of these villages, together with the Assistant Archdeacon, the Revd Stephen Pullin, the Area Dean, the Revd Heather Parbury, and supporting clergy welcomed her to the Benefice. There was also a cohort of supporters from Jane’s previous parish in Ruislip Manor. The service was held at the beautiful church of St Peter’s, Woolhampton.
The first part of the service, called the Institution, required Jane to swear an oath that she would minister according to the rites of the Church of England, together with oaths of allegiance to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the Bishops of Oxford and Reading. In the second and third parts – the Induction and Installation – she received the keys to all the churches in the Benefice, rang the bell to signify the beginning of her ministry and was formally presented to the people.
During his sermon, Bishop Andrew encouraged Jane and the Benefice to ‘never be so busy that you can’t, or worse won’t, allow yourselves to be interrupted by and go out of your way for someone in need… As we induct Jane as your incumbent, God is doing a new thing amongst us’.
Bishop Andrew announced his retirement as Bishop of Reading earlier this week to take place in May 2019.
Following the service, a reception was held at Woolhampton CE School to round off an evening full of hope for the future of the people of the West Berkshire villages and their new Rector.
On taking up her new post, Jane said: ‘I am passionate about people discovering the hope and love of God in their day-to-day lives. I look forward to working with everyone – no matter whether they are church-goers or not – to ensure the church is the centre of the community’.
Previously, Jane was Vicar of St Paul’s, Ruislip Manor and a Dean of Women in the Diocese of London. On moving from the metropolis to the village, Jane said: ‘It’ll be quite a change I’m sure. I’ll be swapping the Tube and London traffic for barge boats and cows – and I am looking forward to it!’