News Reports from within the Company of Servers

Leeds Chapter Festival Eucharist - Saturday 5th November 2022

On Saturday 5th November at St Andrew's, Ferrybridge. 4 new members were admitted, Ted, Marcus, Lindsey and Ashley. This takes our Chapter total to 41.

Annual Festival 2022 - Exeter - by William Mirza

On Saturday 7th May, the Company of Servers Annual Festival 2022 took place. There were two parts to the day: the Festival Eucharist at 12pm in the Cathedral, and the Solemn Evensong and Benediction at 3:15pm at St Michael and All Angels, Mount Dinham. It was a truly wonderful event all round, and an enjoyable time was had by all.

For the Eucharist, the Ministers were: The Rt Revd Martin Shaw, Chaplain at Exeter Cathedral School and Assistant Bishop, as President; The Ven David Gunn-Johnson, Priest Vicar and Chaplain of Exeter Company of Servers, as Deacon; The Revd Preb John Good, Rector of Exeter Society of Catholic Priests, as Subdeacon; and The Very Revd Johnathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, as Preacher. The new members of the Serving Company were admitted by The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark and former Chaplain General to the Company. It was a real delight and privilege to see so many new Servers welcomed into the Company, and very moving to see the candidates take the oath. The oath was followed by the solemn and beautiful Company Prayer, which asked for God’s help in enabling those admitted to serve ‘reverently, attentively and devoutly, in body, mind and heart’. The singing, reading, liturgy and other prayers were similarly all beautiful. Many members of the congregation also mentioned afterwards what a fine sermon the Dean gave, in which he commented on how the theatre of servers’ work is the ‘lifeblood of our faith’. Many said too how lovely it was that his points about the importance of music in worship included a reference to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

Those admitted were, in surname alphabetical order: for Exeter, Mariam Badavi, Anne Eyre, William Mirza, Elizabeth Noon, Barney Puleston, Carys Puleston, and Lucas Taylor; and for St Mary Churston Ferrers, Henry Bowles. Thanks to also to Deputy Lay Vicar Rachel Bennett, who was Cantor; Director of Music Timothy Noon, who was Organist; Malcolm Pomeroy, who read the lesson; and Chryssa Turner, who read the Intercessions.

The Evensong was equally exquisite, with The Ven David Gunn-Johnson, as Officiant, presiding masterfully. The music was also magnificent, and a tribute to the virtuosity of St Michael’s choir, Organist Matthew Clark, and Director of Music Natasha Goldsworth. Thanks also to Wilfred Reynolds and William Mirza for reading.

No fewer than five chapters were in attendance on the day. These were, in alphabetical order: Blackburn and Liverpool; Exeter; Norwich; Southwark and London; and York. It was such a joy to welcome all those who had come from other parts of the country, and their support and kind comments about the services and community are much appreciated. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part and made the event such a success.

A Tribute to John Kitchener - Founder Treasurer General

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dearly loved and respected Treasurer General, John Kitchener. John was instrumental in the founding of the company and has worked tirelessly throughout his time in office - from the very outset until now. He is going to be missed enormously, and we hold him, his family and friends in our prayers at this sad time. Jesu mercy, Mary pray.

The following is the homily preached at his funeral by Mother Helen:

Homily for the Requiem Mass of John Kitchener St Thomas à Becket, Pagham, Thursday 2 September 2021.

Matthew 7: 24-27 “The wise man built his house upon a rock”

I rather doubt that John would have considered himself a ‘wise man’, but I beg to differ, and his life certainly bears witness to this. We see, in John, a man who most certainly built his house upon a rock, indeed the rock, and it is because of this that he will be missed profoundly by those who knew him. In reflecting on John’s life I am thankful to Michael, his brother, for providing details of John’s activities before I met him in 2011, when I arrived at St Matthew’s, Wimbledon.

John was born in February 1948, and spent the greater part of his life in the Raynes Park and West Wimbledon area, being schooled at Cottenham Park Infant School, Wimbledon Parish School and Rutlish School. Aside from his family, the greatest influences on John’s life were, as we know, Christianity and scouting…not necessarily in that order! It was not, of course, any old Christianity, but the Anglo-Catholic variety. John learned to be an altar server when he was very young, and would serve at the weekly mass at the Infants’ school, and in what was known at the time ‘little St Matthew’s’: a converted church hall next to the ruins of the original St Matthew’s church, which had been hit by a flying bomb during the war.

Although the full Anglo Catholic liturgy was strictly adhered to, this temporary sanctuary was insufficiently big to withstand the use incense. Consequently, as Michael reflects, the boys grew up longing for the rebuilding of a ‘proper church’ so they could have incense, no doubt fueling John’s great love of its use in worship, and his expert skills as a thurifer.

In addition to church, John’s early life was shaped by scouting, and he attended his first cub camp at Hawarton Farm in Kent when only four years old. As it happens, he would have gone a year earlier but was prevented by chicken pox (and was no doubt extremely vexed that something as minor as a childhood illness stopped him from attending camp). Scouting was in the family blood, and John maintained a life-long association with it, as anyone involved in the 19th Wimbledon Scout Group will be able to testify. He served the group in very many different ways over seven decades of involvement as a key member, making a great contribution to all things practical, and having a great and positive influence on the boys.

After attending the University of Kent at Canterbury, and teacher training at the College of St Mark and St John in Chelsea, John got a job teaching maths at Beverley school (now Coombe Boys). He spent all of his teaching career at Coombe, working his way steadily up to become Head of Maths, and then Assistant Head of the school. It was there that John met Jackie, who had later arrived, also to teach maths, and they eventually married in 2009 in Yorkshire, where Jackie had grown up. On retirement John and Jackie moved down to Pagham in 2013, seeking a leisurely and civilized life on the coast, though I suspect that John was soon put to use in the sanctuary here at Pagham. Their departure was a source of great dismay to me (and I suspect also the dismay of the 19th Wimbledon), though John did maintain links with us both. I recall that I had to recruit no less than four people to cover all the jobs that John used to do at St Matthew’s, and for the first few years after he’d moved we referred to the subsequent years as 1AK, 2AK ( ie 1 After Kitchener, 2 After Kitchener etc)

“The wise man built his house upon a rock”

It is difficult in such a short period of time - and I have strict instructions that my sermon should be short! - to do any kind of justice to all that John built during his life. We know what some of the major bricks were:
- his vocation to teaching, in all its forms
- his commitment to church, especially St Matthew’s
- his love of scouting and devotion to the 19th Wimbledon
- his involvement in local and national interests - the Company of Servers, Richmond Park volunteers (and I am sure many others of which I am not aware).

And, of course, time spent with family and friends: his parents, Grandmother and Aunt Helen; his brother Michael, and his family; his wife Jackie; and then the next generation of niece Clare and grand-niece, Sorcha, for whom he loved to buy weird and wonderful gifts.

What a great structure he built on that firm foundation. Think of all the lives he touched through teaching, scouting and serving at the altar: hundreds of children… and adults too. I see his legacy every Sunday in the sanctuary in the worship that we offer at St Matthew’s which is shaped by those whom he taught: our Head Server William, and all those who serve at the altar. And you will have your own stories of the way in which he touched your life.

I knew John as a calm, kind, generous, and solid presence at St Matthew’s: someone on whom you could rely to do whatever needed doing, quietly, efficiently and extremely capably… though I still have my doubts about the rather dodgy Heath Robinson set-up for dangling an electric cable out of the Lady Chapel window as far as the great conifer in the churchyard to light the outside crib during Christmastide. How we avoided burning the church down, I’m not quite sure!

John was un-fussy about his faith but it was, quintessentially, the faith of a wise man who just on with the business of building a good and solid house upon a rock. Not just any old rock, but the rock: the rock that is Jesus Christ. Christ, whom he served at the altar and in the community throughout his life, and who now welcomes him to his eternal home where, I suspect, he will shortly be handed a thurible charged with the sweetest smelling incense to swing before the throne at the heavenly worship.

I know that we will all miss John enormously, but we give thanks for all he gave to each and every one of us, and pray that he may rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

Mthr Helen Orchard
Vicar, St Matthew’s Wimbledon

26 June 2019 - Southwark and London Chapters Summer Festival

The Chapter’s annual Summer Festival of Evensong & Benediction was held at St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico on a balmy June evening and our worship was enhanced by a small choir whose members work for various central Church bodies; ably directed by Fr Peter McGeary.

Our guest preacher was +Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon, who recalled his experiences of many Church vestries – ranging from the highly regimented to the absolutely chaotic but always full of anxiety before the impending service (whether or not that was due to his being present). Bishop Jonathan urged all of us who serve to find that inner calm as we perform our duties before the altar of God.

It was also a great joy, as part of Evensong, to admit a new Companion from the serving team at Southwark Cathedral.

The service was followed by cheese & wine where we were able to socialise & catch up on news from each other’s parishes.

All active servers in the Dioceses of London and Southwark are welcome to join the Company and the Chapter’s next event is on Saturday 16 November 2019 at Southwark Cathedral:
1000: Welcome followed by talk on “A day in the life of a Verger” by the Dean’s Verger, Paul Timms
1200: Mass in the Harvard Chapel

12 January 2019 - Southwark and London Chapters combine

This was a landmark meeting in the history of both the London and Southwark Chapters and was very well attended. It commenced with the London Chapter’s Annual General Meeting. Reports were given by the Chairman on the Chapter’s activity during the past 12 months, together with the Treasurer’s summary of the accounts. However, the main business of the meeting was to discuss a proposal jointly put forward by the Committee of the London Chapter and senior representatives of the Southwark Chapter (who, in the absence of a Chairman, have had no Committee or AGM for the past 2 years) to create a more formal arrangement between our two Chapters, which have been meeting together informally since 2016. The views of members of both Chapters had been canvassed in advance and further discussion took place at the meeting, following which the proposal was universally agreed. Essentially, while retaining the ability to identify members of each Chapter and their financial contributions separately, we will function as one Chapter, named the Southwark and London Chapter, with one bank account, one annual programme, a joint committee and with St Saviour’s Church Pimlico and Southwark Cathedral as our main venues. It was extremely gratifying to see how enthusiastically this plan for a joint liaison was received. 

Once our new way forward had been agreed we went on to discuss the formation of a joint Committee and to elect its members. During the course of 2018 the London Chapter’s Secretary, Fiona Andrews , had handed over her responsibilities to another Committee member, Alastair Knott. This AGM marked the end of the terms of office of both the Chairman, Cathie James, and the Treasurer, Sion Hughes Carew (who is now training for ordained ministry at Westcott House). The following were elected nem con to form the new Committee :Chairman – Michael Lewis, an existing London Chapter Committee member and a Companion of both the London and Southwark Chapters; Secretary – Alastair Knott (see above); temporary Treasurer to oversee the amalgamation of the bank accounts, the Treasurer General, John Kitchener, who is a member of Southwark Chapter; Cathie James and Fiona Andrews (London Chapter) (see above) and Hazel Pudney (Southwark Chapter) completed the additional Committee members.

Fr Matthew Catterick (London)  and Fr Geoffrey Thompson (Southwark)  agreed to continue as Chaplains with the proviso that either could admit Companions from both sides of the river in which ever Diocese they presented.

Following the AGM, Sion Hughes Carew (see above) who, inter alia, had been a former Secretary General of the CoS and in whose clerical footsteps he was following, gave an very informative illustrated talk on his pathway to ordination. He covered all the steps from the first inklings of vocation, ‘the itch you cannot scratch’, up to his acceptance for and commencement of training at Westcott. Many questions followed and some surprise was expressed at how rigorous and demanding the selection process was.

The meeting ended with a celebration of the Eucharist led by Fr Matthew Catterick.  

The newly constituted Southwark and London Chapter’s next meeting will be a visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, kindly hosted by its Chaplain, Fr Stephen Brookes on Saturday March 9th.

All who serve at the altar are welcome and for further details see ‘Local Chapters’ on the CoS website or contact the Chapter Secretary, Alastair Knott, at

Cathie James

4 October 2014 – Blackburn and Liverpool Annual Outing

On 4th October - what seemed like the first day of autumn 2014 (it rained and the temperature was definitely more autumnal than Indian summer), - the Blackburn and Liverpool Chapter had their second annual outing. This year we visited Lancaster Priory ( We were given a very warm welcome and guided tour by the vicar, Revd Chris Newlands and the priory staff (including the cafe staff and the verger) and provided with some very nice refreshments in the priory cafe. The priory, steeped in history may be the site of very early Christian worship dating back to the second century AD and certainly has a very rich history is well worth a visit. We also had a guided tour of Lancaster Castle, prison and courts and some of us were temporarily incarcerated (only for a few minutes and voluntarily!). It was wonderful to meet as a chapter with other servers, part of the family of God, there was very definitely a sense of belonging and a family atmosphere as old and young alike enjoyed a special day together along with our family members. If any other servers would like to join us please get in touch. Future events are our annual service in March this year at St Peter's in Darwen Lancashire and our annual BBQ in the summer (please contact the chair-person, Belinda, for details

Belinda Hornby, Chairman

5 July 2014 – Norwich Chapter Summer Meeting

Members of the Norwich Chapter of the Company of Servers met at St Peter & St John’s, Kirkley, Lowestoft on July 5th 2014. Fr Alan Warner celebrated Mass in the absence (due to illness) of Fr Andrew White.
 Our next meeting is at St Barnabas, Heigham, Norwich, on September 6th. All are welcome for Mass at 11am.

Alison Harding, Chairman

20 July 2013 – First Social for Blackburn & Liverpool

On Saturday, 20th July 2013, a barbeque was held at the home of the Chairman.

We had wonderful weather for our event, which was attended by most of our members, and it was a great opportunity to get to know each other in a social environment. There were games for the younger members, although some adults did take over on the ping pong ball game!

Photos are available of the Company of Servers' Facebook group page.

Malcolm Gee, Chairman

13 April 2013 - CoS Handbook Launched

The Central Committee were delighted to launch (at last!) the Company Handbook at our AGM last weekend in Leicester Cathedral. Bishop Stephen, our Bishop Visitor, sent his greetings for our Festival and meeting and commended the Handbook to all members: "I am delighted with the content of the handbook. It is enormously informative, supportive and sensible and I do recommend that it becomes your regular guide and companion".

For those who were unable to attend the Festival, copies of the Handbook will shortly be sent to Chapter coordinators for distribution. Enjoy!

David Stephenson - Chairman General

23 March 2013 – Blackburn & Liverpool Inaugural Eucharist

On Saturday 23 March 2013, servers and clergy from the recently launched Blackburn and Liverpool Diocese CoS Chapter held a formal service of welcome at St Leonard’s Church in Walton le Dale.

The day began with a very uplifting Eucharist celebrated by the Associate Priest of St Leonard’s, Mother Enid Briggs at which the Revd Dr Carol Wilkinson preached.

All Companions were formally welcomed to the Chapter by David Stephenson and were sworn in by our Chaplain, Mother Pat Belshaw. David is the Chairman General of the CoS and so we feel very privileged to have him on board as one of our Chapter Companions.

Afterwards a buffet lunch was enjoyed by all, where members could get to know each other better and CoS medals were presented.

On the day we gained an additional six Companions and one Associate Companion, bringing our current membership to 19.

For details of future events, please contact Malcolm Gee.

9 February 2013 - Leicester 1st AGM

Leicester Chapter celebrated their first birthday on Saturday 9th February with their fourth event so far, a Celebratory Eucharist  in the historic church of St Nicholas in the heart of the city center. Twenty-two Companions and Associates attended, representing nine different parishes from all over the diocese, and we were thrilled to admit three new companions during the service. The AGM followed, during which Fr Johannes Arens stood down as Chaplain, and Mthr Lisa Temperley-Barnes took up this role, Marion Porter also joined the Leicester Chapter committee, and both were warmly welcomed to these new roles.

Following the AGM and refreshments we were treated to an excellent guided tour of St Nicholas’ Church, led by Paul Griffiths, Leicester Chapter, treasurer. St Nicholas’ is the oldest church in the city (if not county), parts of which are roman, of particular amusement was the dog paw print in the plaster high up on a medieval wall (How did the dog get up there).

Leicester Chapter are looking forward to an exciting schedule of events being planned for 2013 – watch this space for more details. Leicester are particularly excited to have been chosen to host the National Company of Servers Festival on 13th April, and look forward to welcoming servers from all over the UK to this wonderful event.

26 January 2013 - Bangor Launch

It was an historic event in several different ways at St. David's Church, Glanadda, Bangor, on Saturday 26th January.

A group of lay people and clergy came together from across the Diocese - from Llanbrynmair to Holyhead - to inaugurate the Bangor Diocese chapter  of the Company of Servers. 

This is the first such group in the Church in Wales, and one of the first outside England. The Company of Servers has recently had to amend its constitution to enable the setting up of groups in Wales and Australia. Also present at the meeting was David Stephenson (from St Matthew's Church, Burnley, Lancashire), who is the Chairman General of the Company of Servers. He explained to the meeting that the Company of Servers is a laypeople's organisation, whose purpose is to support those who are Servers in churches, and to offer them the chance to come together to worship, reflect on their role and learn more about it together, as well as to socialise. He explained that the Company of Servers is a sister organisation of the Society of Catholic Priests, and as such is an inclusive organisation, fully supportive of the ordination of women. Indeed, the Company sent a letter in support of women's ordination to the episcopate following Church of England Synod's decision in December last year.

The meeting then agreed to set up the group with Glenys Sansom (Holyhead) as its Chair, Phillip Bee (Bangor) as Secretary, Elizabeth Roberts (Bangor) as Treasurer, and Martin Pritchard and Andy Hughes as the other committee members. The Rev'd Janet Fletcher (Bangor) was appointed as the Chaplain to the group, and she was thanked by all present, as she has been doing much of the preparatory work and encouraging the setting up of the group. There was a Eucharist service after the meeting, at which the following people were admitted as Companions (members) of the Company of Servers:

Glenys Samson (Holyhead)
Lorna Owen (Holyhead)
Andy Hughes (Bangor Cathedral)
Robert Jones (Bangor Cathedral)
Martin pritchard (St Mary's, Bangor)
Isabel Johnson (Amlwch)
Jen Evans (Bro Ddyfi Uchaf)
Sheila Owen (St David's, Bangor)
Elizabeth Roberts (St David's, Bangor)

Clergy are allowed to Associate-Companions of the Company of Servers, and there was another ’first’, as Bishop Andy became the first ever Bishop to be admitted as an Associate-Companion of the Company.

As well as Bishop Andy, the following clergy were admitted as Associate-Companions:

The Revd Janet Fletcher
The Revd Elizabeth Pearce
The Revd Hugh Vaughan Jones
The Venerable Paul Davies
Canon Robert Townsend

If you would like any more information about the Bangor Diocese Company of Servers, please do contact the Rev'd Janet Fletcher.

13 October 2012 - Blackburn & Liverpool Launch

On Saturday 13 October, Feast day of St Edward the Confessor, servers and clergy from the two diocese of Blackburn and Liverpool met at St Leonard’s church in Walton le Dale and founded the newest CoS Chapter.

The day began with an Eucharist celebrated by the Associate Priest of St Leonard’s, Mother Enid Briggs at which St Edward was remembered. Following there was a buffet lunch during at which David Stephenson, Chairman General, gave an introduction to the Company and what it means to be a part of it. He talked about the spread of Chapters not only across the UK but also now in Australia and the challenges this presented to the Central Committee and relating this to allowing Chapters, because of the diversity members represent, to work in a way which suits local needs and resources. All present were enthusiastic about the prospect of being of the Company in their dioceses and had ideas about evangelism and teaching opportunities which might work for them. A committee of volunteers was voted in and David issued everyone with a lapel badge and welcomed them as new companions. The new chapter committee plan to hold a formal service of welcome and open event for more servers from the dioceses in the near future.

22 September 2012 - London Chapter Relaunch

A bright September day saw altar servers from across the diocese come together at St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico, at a meeting hosted by its Chaplain, Father Matthew Catterick SCP, to relaunch the Chapter. London diocese with its five areas and wide geographical spread from west to east across the capital presents an exciting challenge, not least of which is communication. It was therefore with eager, if somewhat nervous, anticipation that we welcomed our first participants and we were delighted with the very positive response the Company received. Clearly there was a great deal of enthusiasm to get together with others in a forum where ideas and information could be shared and new skills learned. All in all we welcomed over 30 servers, clergy, and associates, together with Mark Charlton, the CoS Communications Officer, who joined us for the first part of the session.

The meeting began with three established altar servers sharing their experiences and what had inspired them to take up this ministry. Graham Way from St Paul’s Cathedral had taken part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Service (and has a ‘You Tube’ clip as a result!), Cathie James, Master of Ceremonies at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, a busy parish church in West London, spoke of the importance of excellent team work in the creation of inspirational liturgy, and David Richards, Head Server at St Mary’s Bourne Street, one of London’s flagship Anglo Catholic churches, described how alertness and anticipation lay at the heart of successful serving.

Lively small group discussion led on to an exchange of ideas for future sessions, a curiosity to visit other‘s churches to see ‘how they do it’ and the younger participants enthusiastically recommending the use of Facebook and Twitter to get the message out.

There was a keen interest from newcomers to ‘join up’ with the result that at the Sung Mass, which concluded the formal programme, eighteen new ‘Companions’ were admitted.

Participants went on their way, promising to spread the word to ‘server’ colleagues and nearby churches, with news of the Chapter’s next meeting to be held on Saturday 17 November 2012, again at St Saviour’s Pimlico, when the subject will be ‘Serving through the Seasons’, an illustrated overview of the Church’s year. All who serve at the altar are welcome and for further details of the Company of Servers London Chapter 2012/3 programme see ‘Local Chapters’ or contact the Chapter Secretary, Cathie James -

Cathie James
Chapter Secretary

26th May 2012 - Exeter AGM, St Mary, Ottery

The Exteter AGM was held following Mass at Ottery St Mary where Revd Jane Ollier presided and preached.

71 people attended with 7 new admissions.  A collection was taken which has been given to the Exeter Chapter of SCP for their Ordinands Fund in thanks for the support that we have from its members.

The team from Ottery organised it well with Bells being rung, a choir and anthem, bells and smells, an excellent tea on a beautiful sunshine filled afternoon in this delightful Devon location

Robert Knowling, Secretary

14th May 2012 - St Andrew’s, Jarrom Street, Leicester

On Monday 14th May the Leicester Chapter of the Company of Servers attended and provided servers for the 150th Anniversary celebrations at St Andrew’s Jarrom Street, including a procession through the Streets with the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham carried on the Servers shoulders, accompanied by a full retinue of Servers, Clergy, the Bishop of Leicester, a brass band and the whole congregation. It was wonderful to see the Company of Servers, Leicester Chapter, processing together with members of the Guild of servants of the Sanctuary from Coventry Diocese. Quite a sight to behold as we passed the University and Royal Infirmary! This was followed by a Eucharist back in the church and an excellent party complete with buffet and Birthday Cake. Thanks go to all those who served for what proved to be a truly wonderful evening.

Clive Watts, Chairman

18th February 2012 - The Royal Marines' Commando Training Centre

Exeter Chapter Event

We had a very good meeting on the 18th February at The Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (Lympstone). We (46 of us) started despite the rain with a walk to the RM War memorial overlooking the River Exe where the Chaplain, Revd Stuart Hallam, gave us some explanation as to its symbolism. We continued across the parade ground and then to the area of the rigorous assault course that forms part of the 32 week training programme for recruits. From there we moved to the Chapel of St Alban where the Mass took place using for the first time our new Exeter Chapter Orders of Service books . The Mass was celebrated by the Chaplain with the ‘admission’ of four new Companions taking place by our Chaplain. The address given by Stuart was based on four days from his diary that he kept whilst on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. We were warned that it would be emotional and it was so in a very factual way. The days featured were Christmas Eve and Christmas day in 2007 in the Helmand Province when he met but overcame resistance to holding services for the men from a Major and then on to two days in March of 2008 when he lost two of his men just ten days before the end of their deployment and return home – all based on the theme of ‘serving’ in different ways. The beauty was that it was contemplative, straightforward and unfussy with only the use of a green stole over normal combat uniform. After the Mass there were refreshments in the Officers Mess.

Robert Knowling, Chapter Secretary

4th February 2012 - Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Inaugural Eucharist and Meeting

On Saturday 4 February the Leicester Diocese Chapter of the Company of Servers held their Foundation meeting, with over twenty servers from across the diocese joining the Company of Servers. The day started with a splendid Eucharist, presided by Bishop Christopher, Assistant Bishop of Leicester, with Revd Lisa Temperley-Barnes SCP as Deacon, this was followed by a short meeting where Rhona McEune, Secretary General of the Company of Servers, explained the objectives and structure of the Company; where the Company of Servers seeks to encourage, support and value lay ministry in the Anglican Communion and to help servers develop not only practical but spiritual skills as well as offering friendship, guidance and learning opportunities. Companions are members of the Company in the area, (usually the diocese), where they serve. These are known as ‘Chapters’, and each has its own identity and role within the whole Company. Throughout the year, individual Chapters organise their own training days, worship, meetings and activities.

A Chapter committee was formed, with Clive Watts as Chairperson, Canon Johannes Arens SCP, Chaplain, Paul Griffiths, Treasurer, Leslie Mitchelmore, Secretary, Sue Seaton and Angela Sansome, Committee Members. The day finished with a shared meal at local restaurant, Prezzo, and despite the arrival of snow, and various protest rallies in the city centre, the day was a great success.

The committee will be meeting shortly to plan the next Leicester Chapter event, if you would like more information please e-mail or telephone 07905 230857.

30th October 2011
CoS Chaplain General to be the new Dean of Southwark

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun has appointed the Revd Canon Andrew Nunn, Sub-Dean and Precentor of Southwark Cathedral as the tenth Dean of Southwark. He succeeds The Very Revd Colin Slee who died in office in November 2010. Canon Nunn has been Acting Dean of Southwark since that date.

Andrew Nunn (54) was born in Leicester and was ordained deacon in Ripon Cathedral in 1983. He served his curacy at St James Manton, in the Diocese of Ripon and was priested in 1984. Following this he became Curate-in Charge of St Hilda, Richmond Hill, Ripon. Whilst there he also served as Chaplain to Agnes Stewart CE High School, Leeds. He became Vicar of Richmond Hill, Ripon in 1991 continuing as Chaplain to Agnes Stewart School.

He was appointed Chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark in 1995 and became Sub-Dean of Southwark Cathedral in 1999. Andrew Nunn is Warden of Readers in Southwark Diocese, teaches on various courses and is actively involved in the life of schools local to Southwark Cathedral, being a Foundation Governor of St Saviour's & St Olave's Girls School. In addition, he is a member of the Church of England's General Synod and Chaplain to the Synod, is a member of the Liturgical Commission and is presently Rector General of the Society of Catholic Priests and Chaplain General of the Company of Servers.

Commenting on the appointment the Bishop of Southwark said, 'I am delighted to appoint Canon Andrew Nunn as the next Dean of Southwark. He is a gifted and wise pastor who has led the Cathedral during a very challenging year with grace and compassion. He has a strong vision for the future of the Cathedral and its engagement with the parish within which it stands and in developing its role as Mother Church in the wider Diocese. He knows the Diocese well having served within it for over 15 years. I look forward to welcoming him to his new role and to working with him as he becomes part of the Bishop's Staff team'.

Andrew Nunn says, 'I am humbled and excited by the challenge of being Dean of this vibrant and busy place, where it has been a privilege to serve. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we seek to draw closer to the other parishes in the Diocese and to help to lead the Diocese in its mission and ministry. Southwark Cathedral is proud of its tradition of welcome for all and I look forward to helping to ensure that it stands as a beacon of love and hope for people in the parish and the Diocese'.

Outside of church, Andrew enjoys reading, the theatre, art galleries and spending time with friends over a good meal and a glass of wine!

He will be installed as Dean of Southwark on Saturday 21 January 2012.

17th September 2011
Southwark Chapter's First AGM

On 17th September over 70 companions gathered at Croydon Minster to celebrate the Company's first anniversary in the Diocese of Southwark. We were delighted to welcome the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, who preached and celebrated. A highlight of the day was the admission of 19 new companions, 17 of which came from one church, St John's Angell Town.

Speaking later at the Company AGM the chaplain, Fr Geoffrey Thompson SCP, urged companions not to lose energy in the coming year but to celebrate the vocation of serving at the altar with confidence and conviction and so attract more to join and benefit from the Company.

25th June 2011
Norwich Chapter's Outing

The Company of Servers Norwich Chapter enjoyed an informal day in June visiting one of North Norfolk’s favourite tourist attractions. Our visit was to the Stiffkey and Bale benefice where we were welcomed at All Saints, Morston by the Churchwarden Mrs Mary Athill. The Company of Servers, when visiting a parish, use the customary forms of service therefore we celebrated a Book Of Common Prayer Eucharist. The service was presided over by Canon Peter Hartley, with our Chaplain Revd Elsie Hutcheon sharing words of wisdom on the ministry of serving and the importance of us having time together to share our experiences. This quiet Eucharist in a beautiful setting reminded us that our ministry as servers enhances worship, adding increased dignity and holiness, contributing to the peaceful atmosphere.

Company of Servers members attended from St Barnabas, Norwich, Wymondham Abbey, Fakenham and the Upper Wensum Benefice. The group photograph front row left to right: Linda, Ria, Revd Elsie (St Barnabas), Alison (Fakenham), back row Hilary and Richard (Wymondham) and Rhona (Upper Wensum Benefice). Missing from the photograph is Jasmin from Wymondham.

The day, whilst dull was not wet or windy and the boat ride was very pleasant as it left the mooring to take us out into the estuary to experience the terns and the seals. It reminded me of a children’s rhyme about animals watching people because the seals were lying on the sand banks waiting for the tide to turn and swimming about in the water oblivious of the boats chugging past them. The crew gave a lively commentary on the habits, species and a brief history of the buildings we saw on the long sand bank explaining that it had been a lifeboat station and one launch took four/five hours to get out to the stricken vessel as the lifeboat had to be rowed by the lifeboatmen.

Opportunity to leave the boat and spend time further exploring the wildlife, watching the terns diving for fish to feed their young fledglings was given. Some people took advantage of this and went off exploring further.

Rhona McEune

4th May 2011
Exeter Chapter's First AGM

Exeter Chapter held their first AGM on Saturday 14th May 2011 at The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, Lympstone nr Exmouth. There was a good attendance (including non-member parishioners) - and three new Companions were admitted bringing our membership including ‘Associates’ to 37. After the business of the AGM our Chaplain, Preb Alan White SCP,  Presided and Preached at the Mass. Very acceptable country home-made refreshments followed that were provided by the ladies of the church. Enthusiasm certainly exists in our Chapter and, in fact, we have offers of the next four venues including a tour of, and Mass within, the RM Commando Training Centre Chapel and they are spread fairly throughout the diocesan area giving access to everyone. We continue to be supported positively by the Exeter Chapter of SCP whose Secretary attended; also I was invited to attend their AGM during March 2011 to promote ‘The Company’, which I did. General consensus of opinion in our Chapter is that it is better to grow slowly and maintain positive interest than to ‘explode’ with new members who have not given full consideration to the commitment needed.

15th January 2011
London Inaugural Eucharist and Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the London Chapter took place on Saturday 15 January 2011 at St Matthew's Church, Westminster. The meeting began with a Eucharist at 11am followed by lunch and the inaugural meeting. Canon Andrew Nunn SCP presided and preached. The London Chapter are very grateful to Fr Philip Chester and all at St Matthew's Church for allowing us to use this venue for the meeting. Dates of future meetings will be published in due course.

23rd October 2010
Salisbury Inaugural Eucharist and Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the Salisbury Chapter took place on Saturday 3 October 2010 at St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury. It was very well attended and servers from many parts of the diocese took part. The meeting began with a Eucharist at 12 noon followed by a meeting in the church's cafe. Reverend Patrick McEune presided over the service and Reverend David Linaker preached. The Salisbury Chapter are very grateful to David Linaker and all at St Thomas’ Church for allowing us to use this venue for the meeting. Dates of future meetings will be published in due course. Further information is available from Jason Waite.

4th September 2010
Southwark Inaugural Eucharist and Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the Southwark Chapter took place on Saturday 4 September 2010 at Southwark Cathedral. It was attended by over 40 people and took the form of a Eucharist at 11am followed by a Presentation & Meeting. The President was the Rector General of SCP - Canon Andrew Nunn, Sub Dean of Southwark and the preacher was the Chaplain-Designate for the Southwark Chapter - Fr Geoffrey Thompson SCP. You can read his homily here

31st August 2010
CoS Visitor to be the new Bishop of Ely

The new Bishop of Ely will be the Rt Revd Stephen Conway SCP, currently the Suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury in the Diocese of Salisbury where he has been serving since his consecration in June 2006, and Visitor to the Company of Servers.

The Bishop of Huntingdon, Dr David Thomson, made the announcement this morning and introduced Bishop Stephen to the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly, and other civic dignitaries, the Dean and Chapter of Ely Cathedral and other senior clergy, and members of the Diocesan Office staff.

Bishop Stephen (52) will become the 69th Bishop of Ely. He will be officially installed and take up office early next year on a date yet to be decided. He succeeds Bishop Anthony Russell, who retired in February 2010.

"I am thrilled at the prospect of serving as Bishop of Ely,” said Bishop Stephen. “It is a joyful prospect to serve among all God's people in the region, to discover together what God is doing and to join in."

“I am delighted Bishop Stephen is to be our new diocesan,” said Bishop David Thomson. “We were both Archdeacons in the Northern Province a few years ago and it will be very good to be able to work more closely with him now in the Diocese of Ely.”

9th January 2010
St Albans Chapter Launched

Servers in Anglican churches across the St Albans Diocese have come together to form a new fellowship group.

The St Albans Diocese Chapter of the Company of Servers was established at an inaugural meeting at St Saviour’s Church in St Albans.

It is the latest chapter of the national Company of Servers to be formed, and follows on from the setting up of chapters in Norfolk and Ripon & Leeds.

Newly elected chairman of the St Albans Chapter, David Vyvyan said “It is an association for people who serve in the Church of England, to offer support and fellowship.

“We will meet together at least four times a year for a collective act of worship and social activities.”

While the weather meant numbers were lower than expected, the chapter has already signed up servers from across the diocese.

Mr Vyvyan added: “There were people there from churches right across the diocese, and the chapter has been founded with 18 members.

“Servers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join.”

Fr Peter Wadsworth SCP, Vicar of St Saviour’s Church, has been appointed chaplain to the chapter.

The St Albans Chapter has been selected to host the first national Company of Servers Festival and Annual General meeting, to be held on April 24 2010.

The annual Company Festival focuses on fellowship, worship and learning, both from each other and in a variety of interactive workshops, activities, talks and reflections.

To find out more about the St Albans Diocese Chapter of the Company of Servers, the chairman can be contacted at

November 2009
Norwich Sees a First!

Norwich launches the first Diocesan Chapter of the Company of Servers in the country. The Dean of Norwich, The Very Reverend Graham Smith, presided at a Eucharist in the cathedral for servers, lay assistants and clergy in the Norwich deaneries. The service was attended by about 30 people including servers from the cathedral and the city of Norwich. The sermon focused on being servants of Christ and was a timely reminder of our ministry as servers.

At a meeting held after the service the Chapter committee was set up: Chair Rhona McEune
Secretary Chris Sanham
Treasurer Michael Whittle
Committee members Colin Bodkin and Jack Harding

If anyone would like more details contact:
the secretary at

November 2009
Ripon & Leeds Chapter inaugurated!

On Saturday 14th November 2009 the Ripon & Leeds chapter of the Company of Servers was inaugurated at Ripon Cathedral.

The morning began at 10am with a Sung Eucharist, Bishop James presiding, and about 50 people attending. This was followed, after a very welcome cup of tea, by the inaugural meeting with the election of a committee and appointment of Mother Frances Wilson SCP as chaplain.

We then split into two groups, Fr Johannes Arens SCP facilitating a discussion with the adults and Mother Frances leading a workshop for the young people. Out of these sessions it was clear that servers would like information about their roles; to learn and share good practice; to meet together both at deanery and diocesan level and to ensure that young servers felt valued and included.

We finished the day with lunch, over which everyone had a chance to get to know someone new, always a privilege.

This is an exciting beginning and the options and opportunities available to develop the Chapter of Ripon & Leeds are huge.

If you’d like anymore information about these events, or wish to join the Ripon & Leeds Chapter here are our contact details.