Young people at a church a Shipley, West Yorkshire, whose Facebook video for a new vicar went viral last February, have had their prayers answered – and made a new film to celebrate!
On Saturday 13 May at 3pm, the Revd Henriette Howarth (pictured below) will be installed as the new Vicar of St Paul’s Church, Shipley at a special welcome service. To mark the good news, she has joined the members of the Junior Choir in the creation of a new film welcoming her to the church which will be shown at the service.
In their first video, which was featured on TV, newspapers and received thousands of views, the children of the Junior Choir spelt out the type of Vicar they wanted: “If you want this choice position have a cheery disposition, make us laugh, smile lots, play games, tell jokes.”
For good measure they added, “You must be kind, you must be fair. Bible stories you will share. Plan parish weekends and retreats, sermons short – and sweet, share God’s love with everyone – be energetic; work hard, have fun. Boy or girl it doesn’t matter – but you must enjoy Harry Potter!”
The Revd Henriette Howarth says she will be doing her best to match the children’s hopes and expectations. “It’s exciting that the children in the church were involved in the advertising for the new vicar. I hope I can fulfil their expectations!
“I know the first question they will ask me is ‘Do you like Harry Potter?’ and I do. The ‘sharing God’s love with everyone’ is what I live for. Of course a vicar can’t always be cheerful but I am the kind of person who enjoys life and smiles a lot! As a church, like Jesus, we will be with people in happy but also in sad times in their lives, that’s a promise! ”
She added, “St Paul’s Shipley is a fantastic church at the centre of Shipley with a wonderful variety of people and activities and a real love for the community. I look forward to getting to know the people of Shipley and to work, pray and spend time with them to discover how God’s love is real and relevant for everyone.”
In its first 24 hours on line back in February the video advert received more than 19,000 views and attracted favourable comments. "Brilliant" wrote the Revd Kate Bottley of ITV 'Gogglebox' fame, adding, "I was chatting to a lay chair yesterday who was moaning that they had zero applicants for their job, they need to up their game!" (See the first video here: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsShipley/videos/1188220991295706/ )
The new video which has been made by St Paul’s Junior Choir has again been produced by Rachel Hesselwood, Director of Music for children and young people at St. Paul’s. Based on ‘Raindrops and Roses’ from the Sound of Music it lists many of the activities of the church, shows the new Vicar being shown around the church by the children and finishes with a message – “Welcome to St Paul’s, Henriette. We can’t wait to get to know you and we’ve even tidied up the choir vestry!”
Rachel is now busy rehearsing the Junior Choir for the big day on Saturday 13 May when their new Vicar is licensed. She said, “The children are really excited that their advert contributed to finding the right person for the job and are looking forward to getting to know Henriette over the next few months.
“The Junior Choir are now busy getting ready for her arrival - both rehearsing the music for her installation service and tidying up the vestry, as promised in the original song. Now we've found the right person, the children have been reflecting on what St Paul's has to offer Henriette - watch out for another video explaining their favourite things about St Paul's!”