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New vicar Jeremy Fletcher inducted at St-John-at-Hampstead

'The parish church plays a valued role in the community, and this is a vibrant part of a great city'

23 March, 2017 — By Angela Cobbinah

Reverend Jeremy Fletcher speaking during a reception held at UCS School

AS much a coronation without the crown, the ceremony marking the arrival of the new vicar of St-John-at-Hampstead church was full of ecclesiastical pomp and circumstance.

Officiated by the Bishop of Edmonton, the Right Reverend Rob Wickham, before packed pews, it saw the would-be incumbent, Jeremy Fletcher, take part in a number of symbolic rituals, which included him swearing oaths, walking through the congregation with his hand held aloft by the local archdeacon, and tolling the church bell to mark the start of his ministry.

Reverend Fletcher, previously vicar of Beverley Minster in Yorkshire, one of the largest parish churches in England, takes over from the popular Rev Stephen Tucker, who retired last year after 15 years at the helm.

The service, known as an “institution and induction” in Church of England jargon, was attended by a number of dignitaries, among them Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, deputy mayor of Camden Richard Cotton, and Andrew Dismore, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.

The children of Hampstead Parochial Primary School also performed a song alongside the choral music provided by the church’s junior and senior choirs.

Rev Fletcher, who worked as a comprehensive school teacher before his ordination in 1988, said afterwards: “My wife Julia and I are very excited about our new life in Hampstead. The parish church plays a valued role in the community, and this is a vibrant part of a great city. We’ve been thoroughly welcomed, and want to ensure that everyone who encounters Hampstead parish church feels the same.”

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