Familiar territory for new vicar of St John’s, Spalding, and Deeping St Nicholas

The Rev Canon Steve Simcox (second left), new vicar of St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, Deeping St Nicholas Parish Church, at his licensing service with churchwardens Ray Wright (left) and Margaret Smith, next to the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
The Rev Canon Steve Simcox (second left), new vicar of St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, Deeping St Nicholas Parish Church, at his licensing service with churchwardens Ray Wright (left) and Margaret Smith, next to the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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The new minister in charge of two churches in South Holland has thanked people for their “wonderful” welcome to the area.

The Rev Canon Steve Simcox (pictured second left with churchwardens Ray Wright (left), Margaret Smith and the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson) was inducted to lead both St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, and Deeping St Nicholas Parish Church earlier this month.

St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, hosts the licensing service for new Minister-in-Charge, the Rev Canon Steve Simcox, with assistant minster Capt Paul Whiteley (fifth left), churchwarden Ray White (right), the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson (seventh left), churchwarden Margaret Smith (left), the Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett (second left), the Rev Philip Brent, rector of Elloe West Deanery, and the Archdeacon of Boston, the Rev Dr Justine Allain Chapman (third and second right).  Photo by Tim Wilson.

St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, hosts the licensing service for new Minister-in-Charge, the Rev Canon Steve Simcox, with assistant minster Capt Paul Whiteley (fifth left), churchwarden Ray White (right), the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson (seventh left), churchwarden Margaret Smith (left), the Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett (second left), the Rev Philip Brent, rector of Elloe West Deanery, and the Archdeacon of Boston, the Rev Dr Justine Allain Chapman (third and second right). Photo by Tim Wilson.

But despite a 100-mile journey from Birmingham, where Mr Simcox led St Edmund’s Church, Tyseley, he and his wife Doreen are no strangers to eastern England.

Mr Simcox’s father, daughter and two grandchildren all live in the region and he himself studied at Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge, before serving as an assistant vicar in Cambridgeshire.

During a service at St John’s, the Bishop of Lincoln paid tribute to Mr Simcox’s predecessor, the Rev Peter Garland who served for 16 years before his death in June 2015, aged 62.

Mr Lowson said: “Steve is here, not as a manager of a golf club who knows all the greens are nicely looked after, but to give you the resources, confidence and joy to be able to go out and live the Christian life.

I am really confident that you can look forward to a bright and joyful future as you build on the good things that Peter Garland did

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson

“I am really confident that you can look forward to a bright and joyful future as you build on the good things that Peter Garland did.”

Mr Simcox said: “We are overjoyed with the invitation to serve here and the way me and Doreen have been welcomed, and treated, on our journey across from Birmingham has been wonderful.”