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Bray formally welcomes its new vicar

There was a celebratory atmosphere in the village as the new Vicar of Bray with Braywood was formally inducted.

The village green was full of cars as crowds of about 200 people made their way to St Michael’s Church for a service of collation and the induction and installation of Reverend Ainsley Swift on Thursday, July 12.

Since Rev Richard Cowles retired in September the parish have been without a permanent vicar.

The service of collation was carried out by the Rt Rev Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading, while the Venerable Olivia Graham, Archdeacon of Berkshire, led the induction and installation.

It officially marked Rev Swift’s commitment to the congregation, who came in their droves to see the service.

Speaking this week, the reverend said: “It’s really exciting to start afresh. The collation service is legal and spiritual, so it’s all about new beginnings and building on the work of the previous vicar.”

Speaking on the crowd, Rev Swift said: “People were coming to see what they were in for and there was a large number of people from Windsor.

“It was wonderful that so many people came, I felt very supported.”

Since leaving his role as rector at four churches in three parishes in the Windsor area, Rev Swift has enjoyed a holiday in  Italy and a settling in period at the vicarage.

“Towards the end I quite keen to get going with the job,” he said.

Rev Swift’s first job in his new role was Sunday worship, which he said drew a big congregation.

An automatic responsibility inherited with the role of the Vicar of Bray is that of school governor at Braywood CofE First School in Oakley Green Road and Holyport CofE Primary School, Stroud Farm Road.

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