Diocese of Portsmouth

    Meon Valley boy returns as priest

    25 Sept. 2023

    HE was born and raised in the Meon Valley and has already been a parish priest in nearby Bishop’s Waltham and Upham. Now he’s coming back.

    The Rev Andy Davis has been appointed as interim priest-in-charge of Swanmore, Soberton, Newtown and Hambledon, and the Meon Bridge Benefice. He’ll be in charge of a team of clergy and lay people who will minister in those parishes.

    Bishop Jonathan has announced the new appointment today, (Mon 25 Sept) subject to DBS checks, which means Andy will move back into our diocese from his current post as priest-in-charge of Bramley, in Guildford diocese.

    Andy said: “It is most definitely a homecoming, and it will be good to be back nearer mine and Chris’s own families, and reconnecting with many friends from my years in the Meon Valley and in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

    “I’m looking forward to the interesting challenge of leading a team of people who will be offering ministry across these parishes. I’ve already either led or attended services at every one of these churches, so I hope I can bring some knowledge and experience to this role.”

    The Ven Kathryn Percival, Archdeacon of the Meon, said: “We are delighted that Andy, who is a very experienced priest and knows the diocese well, has accepted the offer to take on this significant role in the Meon Valley. He will be leading a team of clergy and lay ministers, including some new appointments which we intend to make soon.

    “The appointment is an interim one, for an initial three years, to enable an exploration of collaborative working. We hope this will be an exciting development which provides effective ministry and mission for those living in this beautiful part of our diocese.”

    Andy was born and raised in Shedfield, and his grandad Archie founded the village market gardening firm AA Edwards and Son. Andy’s father Harold, originally from Wickham, still lives in the house where Andy grew up. He went to Shedfield Primary School, secondary school in Swanmore, and then took A-levels at Price’s School in Fareham.

    He studied psychology at Bath University, and divinity and theology at Edinburgh, including an extended placement in New York. He was ordained deacon in 1989 and priest in 1990, both in Portsmouth Cathedral, and served curacies in the parish of Alverstoke, and as curate-in-charge of St Francis, Hilsea, within North End Team ministry. He then served as Bishop’s Chaplain for the late Kenneth Stevenson from 1996-98.

    Andy was then rector of Bishop’s Waltham and Upham, within the same Bishop’s Waltham deanery where he’ll be serving, from 1998 until 2007, and vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ Church, Gosport, until 2020, when he switched to his current role in Bramley.

    He and Chris have been married since 1996, and have always had cats. Their current black-and-white rescue cat is called Lou-Lou. Andy likes to read widely, enjoys trashy films and comedy shows and is a platelet and plasma donor.


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