The new Vicar of Preston has been announced as Rev Sam Haigh – taking over the legacy of Fr Timothy Lipscomb.Advertisement
Sam, who was most recently a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in London, will be formally licensed as Vicar of Preston in April.
He will play a key role in transforming the Church of England in the city after it was announced in January £1.5m of Strategic Development Funding will be injected into the parish.
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Sam’s role will include plans to reinvigorate Preston Minster and St George’s in the city centre to encourage growth and create a ‘Resourcing Parish.’
The project is a partnership with HTB, with Sam playing a vital role in linking the parishes.
He says: “At HTB I have been equipped for the role I am about to undertake; particularly learning about planting churches, which is a key element of what Preston Resourcing Parish will be about.
“I am delighted to be coming to Preston and to be overseeing a new chapter in the history of the Parish.
“I look forward to working with members of the existing congregations to serve the people of Preston in the years ahead.
“I know the city itself has been on a journey of rediscovery in the past few years, with fresh investment in evidence in a variety of ways; and now the churches of Preston Minster and St George’s will be joining in that journey as we also invest … for growth and to win hearts for Jesus.”
Sam’s work in the new Resourcing Parish will build on the legacy of Fr Timothy Lipscomb, and the interim ministry of The Ven. Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster, in their role as Vicar of Preston.
Archdeacon Michael, who held the reins as Vicar of Preston after the retirement of Fr Timothy, said: “Sam and his family will be welcomed to Preston by a congregation ready to seek God’s heart for the future of the church in Preston city centre and the surrounding estates.
“At the same time, we will retain our position at the heart of civic life in Preston, as we move forward with our plans across church traditions.
“All of the activity makes this one of the most exciting projects in the Church of England today.”
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The Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, said: “Thanks be to God for this next step in a very exciting adventure of faith.
“I pray that the work Sam will lead in the coming months and years will create a lasting impact in Preston and more widely around the diocese.”
The concept of a Resourcing Parish in Preston was first proposed in March 2016 following a visit to the county by Rt Rev. Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington, who also has a national remit for church planting.
Over the next two years a small team led by Rt Rev. Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley, developed the concept into a full-blown application for SDF.
Speaking today, Bishop Philip added: “Sam is a fantastic appointment who will steer a refreshed Parish of Preston towards exciting new frontiers.
“In doing so, Sam will have the full support of the Diocese and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us as we prayerfully move forward.
Sam, 33, is married to Hannah and they have five children aged from 18 months to nine years old.