Rev'd Graham Witts was welcomed as a Prebendary
New Prebendaries celebrated at Wells Cathedral
A special celebration took place during Evensong on Tuesday 8 May at Wells Cathedral as Tony Cook and the Revd Graham Witts were welcomed as Prebendaries and took their place on Wells Cathedral Chapter.
Tony and Graham have been awarded the honour by the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells in recognition of their work and ministry in the diocese over many years.
Tony is Assistant Director of Education and Leader of the Go Team youth and children advisers at the Diocese of Bath and Wells. He has served the Church for thirty years, working with children and young people. He has also led a group of young people on a visit to Zambia
Graham has served as priest in Lincoln diocese and then here in Glastonbury and Burnham on Sea. He has taught many Exploring Christianity courses and helped with ministry among deaf people, been Rural Dean and latterly Archdeaconry Warden of Readers for the Wells Archdeaconry.
Tony says, “This honour of becoming a Lay Prebendary at Wells Cathedral has deeply moved me. It was such a surprise as I don’t have the traditional church background or upbringing that people (myself included!) might associate with this kind of role. I am absolutely overwhelmed.”
A Prebendary is an historic title which at one stage of the Church of England’s life denoted a person who held a Prebend – a manor or parish or other estate from which the Prebendary used to derive an income. In the modern world there is no financial reward for becoming or being a Prebendary but the title is retained to indicate a continuity with those who held them in earlier centuries.
Today, when the Bishop offers a person a Prebend it is an honour, offered in thanks for good work done in the diocese. It is a way of celebrating someone’s ministry and praying for their work.
Each Prebendary is given a portion of the Psalms to say daily, a seat in the Quire and Chapter House and a place in the College of Canons of the Cathedral, which is a body of lay people and clergy who help in the governing of the Cathedral.
At the service, Bishop Ruth Worsley thanked both Tony and Graham for their significant contribution to the diocese and prayed for them, asking God’s blessing on them as they continue their service and love for God.
The Revd Jane Haslam, Rector in the Alfred Jewel Benefice has also accepted a Prebend and will be installed in her seat in the Cathedral later in the year.
(Taken from the Bath & Wells website)