On Wednesday 6th October, a select congregation gathered at Dorchester Abbey for the Licensing Service of Reverend Canon Paul Wignall.
Owing to Covid-19, everyone who attended was required to wear appropriate face coverings, which gave the service a more than usually somber feel. Although there were some hymns during the service, these were recordings of the Abbey Choir, made at previous services.
In addition to the clergy from the Dorchester Team, there were representatives from the three villages that make up The Bridge Group, as well as Lynda Atkins, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, representing the Queen. Usually, the service would have been led by the Bishop of Dorchester, but as Rt Revd Colin Fletcher OBE had recently retired, it was conducted by the Archdeacon of Oxfordshire Ven. Judy French.
Representatives of the church community presented symbols of ministry to Rev. Canon Paul Wignall, before he took the Declaration and Oaths that formally confirmed his Licensing.
Under ‘normal’ circumstances the service would have been followed by an informal reception in the Abbey, but as this was not possible, the congregation and clergy socially gathered at the back of the Abbey to talk and meet with Paul and his wife Carlynn.
Paul and his wife have taken up residence at The Vicarage in Long Wittenham.
The service was streamed over Zoom, so those unable to attend were able to watch from the comfort, and warmth, of their own homes. If you would like to see the service, it is available on YouTube.