IT’S been a long time coming — but the new Vicar of Rotherham has taken up his post.
The service of welcome for the institution, induction and licensing of Rev Phil Batchford as vicar of All Saints Rotherham — also known as Rotherham Minster — and priest in charge of St Paul, Masbrough, took place on Tuesday at the Minster.
The service was led by the Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Rev Pete Wilcox, and comes almost two years after the retirement of the previous Vicar of Rotherham, Rev Canon David Bliss, who had been in the post for 11 years.
Dignitaries at the service included Deputy Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Bob Dyson, The Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham, Cllr Alan Buckley and Mrs Sandra Buckley, and Lord Scarbrough.
Rev Phil has been working as a community vicar based at the Minster since 2017, having previously been based at The Vine — formerly St Stephen’s and St Bartholomew’s churches in Sheffield.
Originally from Birmingham, he lived for many years in Firth Park but has since moved to Kimberworth, where he lives with his wife Christine.
The couple have a grown-up son and daughter.
He said: “In the time we’ve been in Rotherham we’ve fallen in love with the town and its people and are really looking forward to the adventure of what God will do in the coming years as I serve in this new capacity.”
Rev Phil’s first job was selling office equipment in Rotherham and he later worked for the Turning Point charity in the town.