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End of an era for Norfolk’s Community of All Hallows

As Fr David Spicer prepares to retire after 26 years serving as Warden to the Community of All Hallows, the Anglican Religious Order in Ditchingham is putting out a call for priests who may be in a position to join their team to serve the daily Eucharist and more.

The Community of All Hallows on the outskirts of the village of Ditchingham, near Bungay, is approaching the end of an era with the retirement of their Warden in the Autumn of this year. 

Father David Spicer has been in the role since the summer of 1991.  He came to the Community after 12 years of parish ministry in South London where he served in parishes in East Dulwich, Richmond and Lewisham.

Talking about coming to serve the Community of All Hallows 26 years ago, Father David said: “I was increasingly interested in, and being asked to get involved in, things like retreat giving and spiritual direction. Whilst I was enjoying parish ministry I had a sense that I might be being called elsewhere.

“The door opened and I found myself plucked from urban South London to the rural splendour in Norfolk.  And whilst it isn’t my natural habitat or milieu, because I am a Londoner, it has become home for me and, at the time when my children were at home, home for them.”

During this time Father David has celebrated the liturgy, preached and exercised pastoral care to and with the Sisters and the guests of All Hallows.  He has also been chaplain to All Hallows Hospital
 
He said: “Most of my time has been given to what you might call inner work; to ministries like spiritual direction, retreat giving and psychotherapy.  So work intimately connected to the Church’s ministry of healing and restoration.”

The Sisters of All Hallows Convent provide hospitality, spiritual direction and retreat work to guests at All Hallows House in Norwich next to the Church of St Julian Norwich, in Rouen Road, and at Ditchingham.  The Sisters hold prayer services four times a day and in addition they have a daily Eucharist. As Father David prepares to retire, the Leaders of the Community of All Hallows are seeking one or more Anglican priests who may celebrate the Eucharist and get involved in other ways.

Sister Elizabeth and Sister Sheila, the Leaders of the Community of All Hallows said: “We do not intend to appoint another full-time stipendiary priest, but would be delighted to hear from anyone in a position to be part of a team promising cover for, if possible, the daily Eucharist – which is the core of our worship and active ministry. 

“In addition there will be some opportunity for providing the Community and its guests with pastoral care and spiritual direction, hearing confessions etc.  We do not envisage that any one person will be able to manage the whole package! But however much or little you feel you are able to offer, you would become a valued part of our life of prayer and care. 

“We would hope that any arrangement we are able to set up will be mutually beneficial and enriching.   It goes without saying that expenses would be met by the community.”

Father David will be retiring to the Suffolk coast where he hopes to get involved in a local parish, continue practicing psychotherapy, fish, garden and enjoy more time with his grandchildren.

If you are interested in serving the Community of All Hallows please contact the Leaders, Sister Elizabeth and Sister Sheila, for more information at All Hallows Convent, Belsey Bridge Road, Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 2DT, phone 01986 892749 or email cahleaders@btinternet.com

Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > South Norfolk > End of an era for Norfolk’s Community of All Hallows
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