The parish welcomes our new rector, the Revd Garry Dunlop Swinton, whose institution, induction and installation took place at St Neot Church on 8 September 2022 .
Garry wrote the following, by way of introduction:
I was born in Stafford and studied at St Mark and St John in Plymouth, before teaching in Havering on the edge of East London. After training for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon in rural Oxfordshire, and ordination in Southwark, I was a curate in Surbiton and then a minor Canon at Southwark Cathedral. After time as a parish priest in Wandsworth and Chaplain at the YMCA in Wimbledon, I was the Chaplain at The Grey Coat Hospital for girls and Westminster City School for boys both in Victoria. Here I worked with students whose families come from over a hundred different countries and from every religious faith, and a significant number from the huge range of Islamic traditions. For the last 17 years I have been a Priest Vicar at St Margaret’s Church Westminster Abbey.
Much of my ministry has been either been with young people in formal education and ‘on the edge’ as that is where chaplains operate. So, I move from the heart of London to the heart of Cornwall, both places where people ‘find themselves’.
My bridge into the West Country, has been my family, who have lived here for many years, and since the death of my parents, I have had a home in Downderry. I arrive in the 3 villages of the Benefice with great excitement and a real sense of feeling this is the right place to be. The pandemic has left its scars on many of us, but it feels we are in a good place and looking positive out to the future.
I move into the vicarage with Zhan and Dani. Zhan was born in Kazakhstan and balances working at Westminster University and remotely from home. Many of you have seen Dani, our mischievous cavapoo, who loves the beach, the moors, and parties.
The newly restored East Window in St Neot depicts the Last Supper and the sacrament of friendship shared over food. That seems like a metaphor for the villages, which treasure community and enjoy a good party.
I look forward to our life in the Benefice, and to living and being part of the communities. I hope the vicarage will be a place of hospitality and I hope you will feel free to stop by or stop me on the road and say hello.
Our churches are places where we journey in faith, no matter how deep that might be, and where we go on significant occasions in our lives. I hope they will continue to be inclusive and outward looking and a place where you feel welcome and own as yours.
Below are photos taken at the institution, induction and installation ceremony that took place at St Neot Church on 8 September 2022, pictured with the Right Reverend Hugh Nelson Bishop of St Germans and the Venerable Kelly Betteridge Archdeacon of Bodmin