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Meet the new rector...

Jan 13, 2023

Announcement of appointment of Rev Dr Stephen O’Connor as the new Rector of the Winslow Benefice

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Doctor Stephen O’Connor as incumbent of the Winslow Benefice.


Stephen was brought up in the catholic faith and became a committed Christian as a young man which led him to spend some time as a missionary volunteer. After initially starting work in banking, Stephen turned to a career in nursing, where he specialised in palliative care and rose to a senior position. Later, he moved into academia, having gained his PhD, and held various roles including Associate Professor at Maastricht University, Reader at Bedfordshire University, and Reader at Canterbury University in Cancer, and Palliative Care.


After several years, Stephen decided to enter the ministry and was part of Mark’s class as a curate, and during his curacy he also met with Andrew Lightbown, visiting the benefice as part of his training. He has experienced a wide variety of styles of worship and feels comfortable in all of them. Stephen was appointed as associate incumbent to an Oxford benefice with specific responsibility for social outreach, prayer and faith for a period of three years but realised that he missed the regular, daily interaction with members of a congregation that he had enjoyed as a curate and so applied for our incumbency.


During the interview process we were impressed with Stephen’s thoughtful, yet fluent, replies to our questions. He spoke easily during his homily and came across as someone who is intelligent, innovative and, above all, deeply caring for other people. He, and his civil partner, Pascal, are intending to visit us very soon and he is looking forward to taking up his post.


We have confirmed with the Diocese that the Licensing Service, when Stephen will be formally licenced to this post, will take place on Tuesday 21st February, in St Laurence church at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend!