Fr Kenneth

 The key to unlock a new chapter.

The key to unlock a new chapter.
The 30-month wait for a new priest at a Darlington church is over following the appointment of The Revd Kenneth Crawford to the post. Father Kenneth who was licensed last month by the Bishops of Jarrow and Beverley was appointed to The Church of St James the Great having previously served in the Army and the RAF and lived in Australia and America. His new appointment will be for half of his working week the rest being taken up by running his own international business making robes for academics, the clergy, the legal profession and civic dignitaries. He came to the UK with his family in 1997 from Melbourne, Australia, where he had been Canon Precentor at Melbourne Cathedral, and served in the Diocese of Worcester before being offered the post in Darlington. Father Kenneth said: “Darlington is a wonderful place and I am very impressed with a lot of what I have seen. I am also a train buff and Darlington is the place where the railways began, which is thrilling.” His appointment and licensing comes after the church in Albert Hill lost its previous priest and 55 congregational members more than two years ago when they left to join the Ordinariate. The Ordinariate is a structure within the Roman Catholic Church which allows Anglicans to come under the Pope’s authority but retain their Anglican beliefs. Not everyone among the congregation agreed with the move. Many parishioners remained and were keen for the church to continue in the way it had since its creation more than 130 years ago. Father Kenneth said: “Even though I’m not a Forward-in-Faith priest, when I was asked if I would consider this post, one of the things that drew me here strongly was the thought that here was a church that has not had a priest for 30 months but has been able to keep itself together. “People said when many of the congregation left that it would fail but it has not failed due to the devotion of the community of faith who worship here. “When I heard the story, my heart went out to them. It is a church that is crying out for spiritual guidance and it is my privilege to provide that leadership.” He said he would be working hard within the local community to ensure that the church remains a focal part of its life.
 A Challenge to the Parish - to make a difference to life and life expectancy.

A Challenge to the Parish – to make a difference to life and life expectancy.
In his sermon at Fr Kenneth’s licensing The Right Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow said: “This appointment marks a new chapter in the life of St James – yes there have been difficult times, uncertain times – but here we are with a new parish priest and there is a sense perhaps of a new chapter. “Your parish is quite small but it has 1 in 3 Children living in poverty, Women have a life expectancy that is 8 years less than other parts of Darlington and Men, 11 years. So I challenge you all to work with your community, to take your faith and channel it in the service of that community and make a difference to the lives of people living here today.” Because he is half-time in the post, Father Kenneth will be able to devote the rest of his time to his robe-making business (where he has customers in over nine countries) and his wife &  family, but says that his devotion to his role as priest will be total. He said: “Once a priest always a priest and I cannot let that go. It is something I am compelled to be. Robe making is part of my creative side, however. It’s what I call my Monty Python activity: now for something completely different.” [wpdm_direct_link id= class=”btn ” data_icon=”” link_label=”media images” link_slabel=”Media Area”]

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