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People are at heart of new Kidlington rector's mission
PUTTING people at the heart of everything she does is the mission of the new Anglican rector for the Kidlington area.
Felicity Scroggie, 50, is set to officially begin work as rector for Kidlington and Hampton Poyle.
Under her wing will be Kidlington’s Church of St Mary the Virgin and Church of St John the Baptist and Church of St Mary the Virgin, Hampton Poyle.
She arrived at the end of October after 21 years in Brent, London, the last 11 of which were as the vicar of St Andrew's CofE Church, Sudbury.
The mum-of-one replaces Hilary Campbell, who stepped down in September after eight years to take up a new post in Cropredy, north Oxfordshire.
Mrs Scroggie will begin services after her induction ceremony on Sunday at 6pm at St Mary’s, Kidlington.
She said: “I sit with people at the end of their lives and nobody says ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office’.
“But people do say ‘I wish I had spent more time with my family or looking after my friends.
“At the end, the only things that matter are relationships with people.”
She said this will be the central part of her role, whatever the demands on her time to run the parish day-to-day.
And she said of the change: “It will be very different.
“The ethnic mix will be different. A lot of people pass through Brent, there is lots of movement.”
Yorkshire-born Mrs Scroggie – married to Justin since 1988 – said: “What is lovely is that the community in Kidlington is of one piece. You can see where Kidlington begins and ends.
“The people that I have spent the last 21 years with have been incredibly warm and creative and wonderful.
“I have had the same amazing hospitality and welcome in Kidlington.
“Things will be different but the warmth of people is the same wherever you are.”
Her appointment comes as latest figures show churches in the Diocese of Oxford are bucking the national trend of falling attendances.
Average attendances at diocese Church of England services went from 55,400 in 2010 to 57,100 in 2011 – although that is down from 62,300 in 2001.
Mrs Scroggie – whose daughter Natalie, 22, is studying to become a vet – said: “The modern myth is that nobody goes to church, but the reality is that many churches are growing and people are seeking meaning and purpose in their life.”
The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, said: “I’m delighted with Felicity’s appointment. She brings a lively faith, an open manner and a deep desire to engage with the community she serves. I’m absolutely sure Kidlington will enjoy her.”