Minnesotan priest becomes new vicar to Norwich parishes
Father Paul Rider has been licensed as the new Priest in Charge at the Norwich Benefice of Old Lakenham and Tuckswood after relocating from an Episcopal Church in the Midwest of America, a move motivated by his love of Norwich.
On Tuesday, February 13, a licencing service was held to welcome Fr Paul Rider to the parishes of St John the Baptist Church in Old Lakenham and St Paul’s Church in Tuckswood in South Norwich. Fr Paul Rider made the move from another St John’s - the St John’s Episcopal Church in Mankato, Minnesota, where he had served as Rector for 15 years.
The evening service at St John the Baptist in Old Lakenham was described by a member of the congregation as: “A joyful celebration of music, fellowship, liturgy and laughter as we welcomed Bishop Graham, the Dean, the Archdeacon and other civic dignitaries to the licencing of Fr Paul Rider as our new Priest in Charge on Tuesday evening.
“Despite the cold evening we had a full church, warmed hearts and everyone enjoyed a tremendous buffet afterwards! Fr Paul, we're blessed to have you with us. Welcome to Old Lakenham and Tuckswood!”
Fr Paul wrote: “I am so very blessed to be in this place where God is surely doing wonderful things among these great people. So glad to be “back in the pulpit” as they say!”
Speaking to the Norwich Evening News Fr Paul Rider, who is originally from New York, told of how he first came to Norwich in 2012 on sabbatical to explore more about Julian of Norwich. He fell in love with the story of Lady Julian, as well as Norwich Cathedral and Carrow Road and made multiple trips back to the city on holiday.
He loved the city so much he told the Evening News: “I quit my job in June and decided to look full time for something here and luckily there were opportunities in Norwich, because I just love it here. I love the diocese, I love the people, I love Norfolk. So it’s a dream come true for me.”
To read more about this story see the Norwich Evening News article.
Photo: Fr Paul Rider (L) with the Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James at the Licensing Service on February 13 courtesy of St John the Baptist Church's Facebook page.