WELCOME ANNE WILLIAMSON
NEW ASSOCIATE RECTOR
May 21, 2013
Dear People of St. John’s,
It is with great joy and excitement that I announce the call of The Rev. Anne Williamson to be our Associate Rector. Below is a letter from Anne that introduces herself. While Anne will perform all duties of a priest and will serve the entire parish; her areas of focus will be Pastoral Care and Adult Formation/Education.
It is an exciting time here at St. John’s and I know you will join me in welcoming Anne to our community. Anne’s first Sunday will be June 2nd and she will preach at both the 8 and 9:30 services. Please make every effort to attend.
Faithfully and gratefully, your rector,
Hello to the family of St. John’s Portsmouth. My name is Anne Williamson and I am absolutely delighted to receive the call to St. John’s to serve as Associate Rector in this wonderful community. My husband, Michael, and I recently moved to the Seacoast from London. Although I grew up in Michigan and went to college and worked in Chicago, I spent 30 years in England – over half my life! So this is a big transition, but Michael and I, and our two sons, Richard, 25, and James, 24, have been coming to the area for many years and we have close family here. My mother, Pat Campbell, is an ‘8 o’clocker’, my sister and brother-in-law live in Portsmouth. St. John’s has been my spiritual home when I’ve been in New Hampshire so I know a number of familiar and friendly faces already. If I look vaguely familiar to you, it may be because I have assisted at the Christmas Eve services on several occasions, and attend the Healing Eucharist on Thursday mornings…so not a complete stranger and looking forward to getting to know all of you in due course!
Having served for many years in different lay capacities, I was ordained priest in the Church of England in 2005 and served as an Honorary Curate (an assistant priest) in a parish in South East London, St. John’s Blackheath in the Diocese of Southwark. During my theological training at the South East Institute for Theological Education (SEITE), I undertook a short pastoral placement in the local hospice, became a volunteer chaplain and when my curacy finished, I was appointed Co-ordinating Chaplain. The short placement in 2002 turned into ministering at the hospice for ten years, and part of my hospice role was to support local parishes, covering services for churches where there were vacancies. At the same time, I continued to serve in my home parish leading worship, preaching, teaching and was involved with pastoral care. More recently, I served as a chaplain in a large urban hospital in South East London.
I love preaching and teaching, and accompanying others on their spiritual journey. I have a particular interest in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and have training as an Ignatian spiritual director. I also have a passion for what might be described as ‘whole life discipleship’ – noticing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, resisting a sacred/secular divide between church and the rest of life, and seeking to live and walk in the light of God at all times – a big ask, but let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to come and make this possible.
I look forward to walking with you as we seek to be salt and light* in our community.