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/ 5 July 2012

St Martin-in-the Fields welcomes new vicar

The Revd Canon Dr Sam Wells has begun his ministry as vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, following his Collation and Induction by the Bishop of London and the Archdeacon of Charing Cross on Monday.

Speaking about his appointment Sam said:

"I am honoured to walk in the shoes of the dedicated and faithful clergy and people of St Martin’s over the last century and beyond. Those who have held the tiller during the vacancy, notably the Revd Richard Carter and the Revd Katherine Hedderly, joint priests-in-charge, churchwardens Alison Lyon and Rod Beadles, and CEO Hugh Player, have done a terrific job.

"This is an appointment of opportunity and privilege and challenge in equal measure; 2 July is a day for all of us together to celebrate all that has been and imagine all that might be."

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres said:

"St Martin’s has an international role – it is very appropriate that someone with international experience has been appointed to develop the next chapter in the church’s story.

"The growth of the Chinese Church at St Martin’s, under Paul Lau, is an especially important aspect of its life and I look forward to supporting Sam Wells as he strengthens the links between London and Chinese Christians."

Until recently Sam was Dean of the Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke University in North Carolina, USA. He began his career as curate at St Luke’s, Wallsend in 1991, where he completed research for his Ph.D. in Christian Ethics at Durham University.

He became Priest-in-Charge at St Elizabeth’s North Earlham in Norwich in 1997, where he helped to form the first community-led development trust in the East of England.

In his most recent post at Duke, Sam continued to work with those in need, including through a particular ministry with those affected by gun violence; experiences outlined in his co-authored book Living Without Enemies.

Sam’s experience in helping the vulnerable will be invaluable at St Martin-in-the-Fields, which is committed to caring, particularly for homeless and vulnerable people through supporting the work of the Connection at St Martin’s, through the Vicar’s Relief Fund which sends out small grants throughout the UK to help people in crisis and urgent need, and raising money for this work through the annual BBC Radio 4 St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Appeal.


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