www.barrowvoice.co.uk - First Publised 1975
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Reverend Rob is leaving Barrow

The Reverend Rob Paddison, or “Reverend Rob” as he is affectionately known to many, is leaving Holy Trinity Church and his home in Barrow after six and a half years in the village. He and his family are moving to Alconbury Weald. Alconbury Weald! Where’s that? This was my response when I spent some time with the vicar, talking about his forthcoming move. Alconbury Weald is in Huntingdonshire: just south of Peterborough, north of Huntingdon. It isn’t a very large place at the moment, around 200 new houses, with plans for 5,000 by the time this new town is completed on the site of an old RAF airfield.

Rob will be taking up an exciting new post as a Pioneer Minister; a role aimed at enabling a new Christian community to emerge in this new town. At the moment there isn’t a church building, but apart from the houses, there is a café, a gym, a primary school and probably around 600 residents. When he moves, Rob may be holding church services in his front room! Amazing to think that he’s going from four churches to none! The new Church of England primary school, already in situ, may become a venue for services as a worshipping community develops.

As you might imagine, there is very little history of community in this new locality. Rob is hoping that he’ll be able to draw on his knowledge of the established community, and its activities here in Barrow, to perhaps assist him in this new environment. This pioneer role means Rob will be moving from the traditional parish system to ultimately developing a worshipping community for the 21st century, where there may, or may not be, a church.

Rob will miss many things about Barrow, but mostly the people and not just those in Barrow but in the other parishes and churches he has been responsible for – Walton, Wymeswold, Prestwold, Burton, Hoton and Cotes. He says it has been an honour and a privilege to serve through weddings, baptisms and funerals, to be involved with the village school, engaging with the children and having fun times in assemblies. He’ll miss the canal and the Outwoods where he walks with the family dog. He’ll be taking many special memories of people and the village with him.

Rob’s leaving date is set for early April so you still have time to say goodbye and to wish him well in his exciting new venture. He expresses huge thanks from himself and his family for the welcome that the people of Barrow have always shown them. On behalf of Barrow Voice I would like to wish Rob and his family all the very best for the future.

Ginnie Willcocks