Hoylake's new vicar is to be Rev Paul Rossiter, whose wife Gillian is already vicar of the next-door parish. He will be appointed at a special service at St Hildeburgh’s Church, on Thursday, June 28 at 7.30pm.
Paul and his wife, Rev Gillian Rossiter, in charge at St John’s, Meols, since 2006, will move into St Hildeburgh’s vicarage and run both parishes from there.
Paul said: “Once we settle in, Hoylake vicarage will be open house for people from both communities, but the two parishes will be run quite separately. Gillian and I will work from different offices with different phone lines.
“There might be times when we coordinate efforts for the benefit of the community and times when we compete, such as at the cricket match planned between St Hildeburgh’s and St John’s this summer” – he is keen on cricket and football, and played for Tranmere Rovers’ youth team in the 1970s.
Paul added: “I am really eager to open up St Hildeburgh’s, to make more use of the church building for community events – as churches were many years ago – and to bring the church back to the people. I also aim to strengthen links with Hoylake Lifeboat, the town’s Church of England school and other groups. Most of all, the church should show love for the parish and everybody in it.”
Paul, aged 57, met Gillian, 55, in their home town of Neston. The couple married in 1978 and have two daughters and a grandson. Both became ordained as priests later in life – Gillian was previously a senior nurse at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for 29 years and Paul a laboratory manager at Liverpool University. Since his ordination in 2006, Paul has served at St Nicholas and All Saints in Wallasey and St Luke’s in Tranmere, as well as at St Hildeburgh’s.
Gillian is also rural dean of Wirral North Deanery, with responsibility for overseeing a group of churches, including St Hildeburgh’s – which makes her Paul’s line manager.