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Mudeford's new priest-in-charge sets sail on ministry with Blessing of the Water

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The Rev. Andrew Jablonski and his wife Rev. Anne Jablonski
The Rev. Andrew Jablonski and his wife Rev. Anne Jablonski

MUDEFORD’S new priest-in-charge, the Rev. Andrew Jablonski, began his ministry by leading a Blessing of the Waters service from a rowing boat in the middle of The Run off the village quay.

He was safe in the hands of well-known local fisherman Peter Dadds who rowed him out into fast-flowing channel with the local RNLI crew on standby.

The band on the quay, led by Phil Randell, provided a rousing musical accompaniment to the singing, while Ken Pickard from 1st Mudeford Sea Scouts recited the story of Jesus calming the storm.

The event was exactly how the previous incumbent, the Rev. Helen Griffiss, began her ministry in the parish 12 years ago. Last year she marked her retirement by taking the same service.

Rev. Andrew told the A&T: “It was lovely and it was a brilliant way to meet the lovely crowd there. Everybody’s been very welcoming here, and they have got time for a chat. There’s a sense of community.”

The Mudeford parish includes All Saints Church and High Cross Church in Somerford.

A licensing service was conducted at All Saints by the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Rev. Jonathan Frost, and area dean, Canon Gary Philbrick.

They were supported by 12 members of the clergy, and also among the congregation were local Sea Scouts and a large group of parishioners from Bromley in Kent where Rev. Andrew had been association-priest supporting the vicar – his wife the Rev. Anne.

She was formally welcomed to the parish and will be licensed by Bishop Jonathan in September.

They couple had met at Cambridge University where they both studied sciences. After they married they settled in Derby where Rev. Andrew worked for the railways and she became a chemistry teacher before working for Scripture Union. In 2007 they returned to university for ordination training.

The couple have four grown-up children and four grandchildren. One of their sons lives in Bournemouth with his wife and child so they have come to know the area fairly well. They hope to make greater use of their bikes as well as enjoying walks along the coast.

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