New vicar goes from the classroom to the church pulpit at Ivinghoe

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A former teacher is swapping his classroom for a congregation as he joins the United Benefice of Ivinghoe with Pitstone, Slapton and Marsworth as its new vicar.

The Rev Adrian Manning had his service of Institution, Induction and Installation last week in St Mary’s Church, Ivinghoe with Pitstone.

A packed church saw the Bishop of Buckingham Alan Wilson, conduct a happy service that included a sermon by Karen Gorham, Archdeacon of Buckingham.

A rousing version of You Raise Me Up was performed by the combined choirs of St Mary’s and All Saints as the presentation of symbols of ministry was carried out.

After being inducted, Adrian was presented with the keys of his new churches, and was introduced to representatives of local communities before giving out notices for the first time.

Adrian takes on the role from his previous post as chaplain and assistant head at St George’s School in nearby Harpenden, where he was responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of the school

He said: “I was enjoying teaching, but had a growing sense of vocation.

“After 12 years at St George’s, I felt it was time to move on and have a stint doing something new. I knew this was a beautiful area with nice churches and friendly, welcoming communities.”

Adrian has the church is in his blood as his late father was a non-stipendiary priest who became a vicar in the Lake District in later life, and his mother, the Rev Ann Manning, is a retired priest who served in Bedford and was ordained on the same day as her son.

Adrian studied maths and physics at Cambridge and started his career as a teacher in London and then Chester, teaching maths and computing.

He went back to Cambridge to study theology and his first job as a priest was as a curate in South Oxhey.

Adrian told Dave Sivers of the parish: “I haven’t formed specific plans, but the church is a living thing and we have to work together on what it should be like in the future.

“I get a sense that everyone in the villages feels ‘part of the church’, even though not everyone is in the worshipping community.

“Coming to church should be an enjoyable, worthwhile experience, offering variety to meet people’s needs and aspirations.”

Father of three Adrian is keen to build on his experience with young people, citing after school clubs, messy church and the village schools as places where he would like to meet and support some of his younger parishioners.