The St Mary’s Church in Old Amersham announced its new rector.

The Church of England parish church organised a service to install Rev’d Jonny Rapson as the 61st rector of the church.

Rev’d Rapson was presented to the Bishop of Buckingham, Rt Rev’d Dr Alan Wilson, by parish patron Mr William Tyrwhitt-Drake, and installed in his new role by associate archdeacon Rev’d Canon Chris Bull at the event on May 24.

Rev’d Rapson said: ‘My prayers are that we may continue to grow in the love of Christ and that this may flow out into the communities around us.’

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To mark the special moment of his appointment, Rev’d Rapson rang a bell in front of the clergy, parishioners and representatives from Amersham and Church of England schools.

His friends and family welcomed the newly appointed rector, and Amersham mayor Mark Roberts offered his personal welcome.   

After growing up in Uxbridge, Mr Rapson trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Before moving to Amersham, he was curate at St John the Evangelist church in Stanmore.

Rev’d Rapson, his wife and their dog Poppy are looking forward to life in their new parish.

Some of his first duties include planting a burgundy cherry tree in the churchyard ahead of Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebraions. 

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Rev’d Rapson follows Rev’d Canon Tim Harper’s 24 years in the role, during which four productions of the Amersham Martyrs Community play were directed at St Mary’s Church by local actor and director, Stan Pretty.

Rectors in the Church of England act as the incumbents of their parish church. 

The appointment of Rev’d Rapson comes 800 years after the appointment of the first rector in 1222.

St Mary’s Church on Church Street, a grade II listed building, was built in the 13th century, followed by extensions during 14th and 15 centuries.