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New team rector for South Gosport
BISHOP Jonathan has appointed the Rev Ray Driscoll to be the new team rector for South Gosport.
Ray will now take charge of all three churches in the parish – Holy Trinity, Christ Church and St John’s, Forton – leading the team of staff and volunteers.
The new parish, which was only created in 2020, combines lively and family-friendly worship at Christ Church, more traditional worship at Holy Trinity, and a venue for music and the arts at St John’s. Ray was already a team vicar within the parish, with a focus on establishing newer and more contemporary ways of worship. The new role means he’ll be providing leadership for the whole parish.
In September 2021, Ray and a church-planting team launched family-friendly morning services at Christ Church, on Stoke Road, visiting many local schools to generate interest. Around 140 people now attend those services each week.
Christ Church also offers free hot meals to families in need every Monday at 5pm in its church hall, using food that local supermarkets haven’t sold. And in the past few weeks, an informal Sunday afternoon service has also begun at Christ Church, offering all-age worship and food. Fifty or so parents and children have started attending.
Meanwhile, St John’s Church in Forton Road now operates as an arts venue, including a professional recording studio run by Quay West Studios. It hosts music gigs, theatre shows, workshops and social nights, run by Saint John Arts. The idea is to relaunch regular worship there as well within the next 18 months.
And Holy Trinity Church, in Trinity Square, offers more traditional Church of England services, accompanied by a historic organ played originally by Handel. It hosts civic services for Gosport, including a recent service of thanksgiving for the Coronation of HM the King.
Ray said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be invited to serve the parish of Gosport South as team rector. Gosport is a wonderful place to live with a strong sense of community and our family have enjoyed serving in the parish since my appointment as team vicar in 2020.
“It’s been wonderful to see what God has done in last three years as we’ve seen congregations grow, ministries develop and seen an increasing sense of partnership with our community. I’m excited to continue this work alongside my clergy colleagues, the congregations and the wider community.”
Ray was originally a youth worker near Guildford before he became ordained and served as a curate at St Peter, Stoke Hill, in Guildford diocese. He is married to Nic and has two sons.
He takes over the role of team rector from the Rev Alex Wood, who was also vicar of Harbour Church in Portsmouth. Alex moved to work at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, in London, last year.
Stoke Road Gosport, PO12 1JQ
Trinity Green, Haslar Road Gosport, PO12 1HL