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Rector from Windsor set to take over as Vicar of Bray

Georgina Bishop

St Michael’s Church will soon welcome a new reverend to the fold.

Following Reverend Richard Cowles retirement in September, the vacant post was advertised late last year and Reverend Ainsley Swift was deemed to be the best man for the job.

Rev Swift is moving to Bray from his current role as rector at four churches in three parishes in the Windsor area.

He said: “I’d been in Windsor for 20 years and I just thought ‘I’ve got another job in me —  should I stay here forever or move on?’

“I had been encouraging others to apply, thinking it was a great post and I thought why don’t I do it?”

He added his Windsor role involves a lot of management responsibility and he ‘started to feel slightly removed and I’m a people person’.

Leaving after so long will not be easy for Rev Swift, who said: “It’s quite sad to be leaving people I’ve married, baptised and those for whom I’ve buried family members. The relationships can be quite strong.”

A community development worker before he was ordained, Rev Swift said that he wants to ‘build on the strong foundations Bray already has and work closely with young people and the community’.

Between his last day in Windsor on May 31 and his official induction at Bray on July 12, he will be moving into the vicarage at Bray.

He will live with his wife, Jane, and three of his five children, Daniel, 19, Anna, 20 and Amy, 28.

Rev Swift said he will also go on holiday to Florence and prepare spiritually for his new role by spending time in retreat at Burnham Abbey.

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