Great Yarmouth Minster’s new team rector Simon Ward sets out plans

Rev Simon Ward, the new team rector at Great Yarmouth Minster. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rev Simon Ward, the new team rector at Great Yarmouth Minster. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A new church leader at Great Yarmouth Minster has set out his vision for his role.

Rev Simon Ward, 45, was chosen to fill the vacant role of team rector and was instituted by the Bishop of Thetford and then inducted, by the Archdeacon of Norwich, in a special service on Tuesday evening.

He said the service was a very special moment, attended by parishioners and family members who live nearby in Caister.

His vision is for the church to be as open as possible for the town and the community and his first duty is to meet people to listen to their needs.

MORE: Yarmouth set to welcome new reverend to replace vacant Minster postHe said: 'I'm really excited to get out around the town and meet as many people as possible. I need to understand how Yarmouth works.

'There are a lot of people who struggle in all sorts of ways and I'm determined that the church is there for those who are poor and needy.'

Mr Ward, his wife Georgette and their two sons have relocated from Norwich to live in the Minster's rectory.

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He is back in his old stomping ground, having been born at the nearby Northgate Hospital and spending his early years in Belton.

During his induction, the Bishop of Thetford said he did not think he had ever inducted a priest into the parish where they born before.

Mr Ward's father, Canon Leslie, was rector at Belton and Burgh Castle, before the family moved to Norwich.

He said despite his ecclesiastic upbringing, he never had the sense he was following in his father's footsteps.

'Both my brother and I were ordained without any pressure from him, which shows what an amazing man he was.'

He said his father met his mother Patricia while she was a nurse at the Northgate Hospital and he was a curate at St Paul's church in Great Yarmouth.

She died when he was about 11-years-old, so when parishioners who remembered her shared their memories with him at Tuesday's service, he found it 'quite lovely and comforting'.

Having moved around the country for study and the church, he never expected to end up back in Yarmouth but said he was very glad to be back.

He said he was enormously grateful for his time at Earlham in Norwich because it made me realise how much he wanted to be a parish priest.