After the retirement of the Revd Trevor Thorpe, aged 90, as Vicar of North Weald, in Chelmsford diocese (Gazette, 16 September), how many C of E incumbents remain in post who are not subject to the rule that they must retire at 70? . . .
At the time of writing, according to my records, the answer is 24. Fr Thorpe has come to the College of St Barnabas, Lingfield, and is settling in well.
His successor as longest-serving incumbent (a position held since 1 November 2005) is Fr James Cocke in the Oxford diocese, who has already served longer than the 54 years, eight months, and two days of Fr Thorpe, as he was instituted only nine days later.
(The Revd) Jeremy Cooper
Since this answer arrived, we have published the announcement (Gazette, 6 January) that the Revd John Vine has retired as Vicar of St Cuthbert’s, Philbeach Gardens, in London. Fr Vine was appointed in 1969. Editor
We have moved our church organ to improve sound transmission. It has left a vacant space, 15ft × 10ft, between two substantial pillars. Behind is a vestry, now enlarged, but requiring some security. What might be available from a redundant church to help us? [Answers, 6 January]
We have a large reredos that might fit. It has been in our store for many years; so I am not sure of the size or what it’s like, as it is in two very large crates.
Kevin Quinlan (Deputy Property Manager, Diocese of Chelmsford)
We suggest that any other offers of suitable furnishings be sent directly to the questioner, N. A. Pollard, secretary of Winterborne Kingston PCC, at Old Nottings House, Winterborne Kingston, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 9AX. Editor
Are C of E priests authorised to use the “us” form of absolution after the general confession? I thought that “you” was in italics only in case a lay person led that part of the service. It makes a difference to at least some of the laity.
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.