THREE HUNDRED parishioners joined together on Sunday, July 8 to welcome the Revd Alison Waters as its new pioneer minister for Sonning and Charvil.

The Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Venerable Norman Russell formally licensed Alison on behalf of the Bishop of Reading. During the service the headteachers of the two schools in the parish and a representative of Charvil Pre-School welcomed Alison and spoke of how they looked forward to working with her. In addition, the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, welcomed Alison on behalf of the congregation and wider community.The parish committed to setting up a full time post dedicated to working with young people and families in 2009, and Alison was appointed earlier this year. The money needed to pay for the post came from worshippers at St Andrew’s who responded generously to a call from the vicar in 2010.Her last post was working as parish priest at St Mary’s Littleton in the Shepperton Benefice of parishes where she developed a number of successful new projects to serve young people. She was ordained in 2004, and has moved to the parish with her husband, Alan.

Alison will work with the vicar of Sonning and Charvil, the Revd Jamie Taylor, in helping with Sunday services at St Andrew’s, Sonning, and in taking some weddings and funerals, but most of her work will be focused on pioneering new work with young people.