Rona's Induction, Institution and Installation

What a joyous and uplifting occasion.

Rona has now been Instituted, Inducted and Installed as our new Rector. Saturday 17th February 2018 marked the start of a new period in the life of St John’s. Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford, Venerable Paul Davies, the Archdeacon, Revd Nick Williams, the Area Dean and other local clergy processed into St John’s to the words of the opening hymn “Lead us, heavenly Father”

(Rona with Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford on her left and the Archdeacon of Surrey Venerable Paul Davies on her right)

The reading by Rona’s daughter, Annabel, came from Colossians 3: 1-17, and in his sermon Bishop Andrew built on this. He recalled a group baptism that he conducted in Ukraine when candidates had entered a lake, full of eels enjoying the warm water at the edge, dressed in their ordinary clothes. On emerging from the lake after the full immersion, they changed into white robes as an outward sign of transformation. He painted a picture of what could happen in society if the church and community transformed itself. If we followed the instructions of the reading and carried out the statement in the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done (in Merrow)” then such a transformation of society could become a reality. Adventure, sacrifice and indeed failure would be involved, but this was no reason not to try.

As the congregation sang “Be thou my vision”, the Dowager Countess of Onslow, who represented the Patron, presented Rona to Bishop Andrew to be admitted to care for God’s people as their parish priest. Rona was asked to renew the promises she made at her ordination, followed by the three promises required by law:

- The Declaration of Assent, also made at the time of her ordination

- The Oath of Allegiance to the Sovereign

- The Oath of Canonical Obedience to the authority of the Church

The Deed of Institution containing The Declaration and the Oaths was then signed by Bishop Andrew and Rona, and given to Rona. Bishop Andrew blessed her using oil of Chrism from the Maundy Thursday renewal of ministries service at the Cathedral. This oil is used at Baptisms and in Confirmations.

The Venerable Paul Davies then proceeded with The Induction. He led Rona and other clergy to the church entrance where her hand was laid on the door as a sign of taking possession of the church and a set of keys was enthusiastically handed to her by the churchwardens. In the past the local community outside the building would have been made aware of this acceptance of office by the tolling of a bell and Rona continued this tradition by chiming the Sanctus bell from the choir vestry.

The Installation involved the Archdeacon leading Rona to her new seat as our priest. Her first act was to lead us in prayer concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.

The singing of the hymn “Just as I am” led to the

Dedication of Priest and People in Ministry

  • The call to Discipleship by the sacrament of baptism, took place by the font. Jack Fuller, Jane Farquharson and Frances Allen (Ecumenical Representative) handed a jug of water to Rona, for baptising, which she very noisily poured into the font.
  • The call to Mission took place at the lectern as Tony Clare and Sonya Graham handed Rona a bible.
  • The call to Worship took place by the altar as Kate Verschoyle and Andy Nunney handed Rona the bread and wine, the Sacrament of the Eucharist for sharing in Holy Communion.

Appropriate words were said on each occasion.

The Area Dean invited Rona’s family to join her at the Chancel step. Rev Barnaby Perkins, Jane Treharne, Jennifer Jordan and David Hunt, representing the churches and community of Merrow stepped forward in turn to welcome her, and finally the congregation were able to join in an enthusiastic welcoming round of applause.

The final hymn “O for a thousand tongues” was followed by the Blessing by Bishop Andrew and the Dismissal by our new Rector. Everyone then adjourned to the Centre for the reception.

[Many thanks to Jane and Linda for giving us this account of this special occasion]

Diana, Rona, Revd Nick Williams (Area Dean) and Dermot

Jane Treharne, Head of Merrow Infants, and Rona



Rona with the Churchwardens, Robert & Helen.

Rona and her family

David Hunt, Rona and Councillor Jennifer Jordon