LtoR: (click to enlarge) Canon Ronald Sowden Lunt, Rural Dean of Chester; Canon Geoffrey Rowell, Advowsons Secretary, Keble College, Oxford (now Bishop of Gibraltar & Europe); The Venerable Henry Leslie Williams, Archdeacon of Chester; The Reverend Simon Robert Marsh, Vicar of Ashton Hayes; The Right Reverend Michael Baughen, Lord Bishop of Chester; The Reverend John Hayes, Bishop’s Chaplain

ONE OF OUR YOUNGSTERS has just asked me “were you a vicar when you were little?” – and was a tad disappointed when I explained that I was relatively “big” – 23 at the time of my ordination in 1982 – and 28 when I became Vicar of Ashton Hayes, my first and much loved parish, in 1987. How big? Well, here I am, fourth from the right, standing next to the then Bishop of Chester, Michael Baughen. That big. And it was a very happy occasion.

“But how old were you when you knew you wanted to be a vicar?” – brought to mind another delightful conversation with another little friend of mine who’s alternating in her mind between “being a vicar or a nail varnisher”. And I remember that the first stirrings of calling do often arrive quite early. I was eight years old … and here – pictured with my then 7 year old sister Sarah – is what I looked like in 1967 …

Sarah Jane (7) & Simon Robert Marsh (8)

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