Marlborough’s new rector returns to his roots

Written by Sue Round on .

Rev Chris Smith with his wife CatherineRev Chris Smith with his wife CatherineReverend Chris Smith, who has been appointed Team Rector for Marlborough St. Mary’s, Preshute and Minal, grew up in Chaddleworth on the Berkshire Downs and he has family living in Hungerford and Salisbury.

He is moving to Marlborough with his wife, Catherine, and their four sons aged between twelve and nineteen, from St. Bodolph’s, Chevening, near Sevenoaks in Kent. His licensing service with the Bishop of Ramsbury will be held in St Mary’s on Tuesday September 24 at 7pm. All are welcome.

Reverend Chris has been Rector at St Bodolph’s, Chevenning for ten years. He told,  “The church in Chevening has grown bigger and younger over ten years.  Both Chevening and Marlborough are attractive market towns but my new role in Marlborough is one of greater responsibility.”

He was previously Associate Rector at Zion Episcopal Church, Vermont, USA and before that a curate at Holy Trinity, Cambridge. He trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford before working at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, home of the Alpha Course.

He has fond childhood memories of Marlborough. “We often used to come Christmas shopping in Marlborough.  My neighbour was a great friend called Geoff and his dad, Mr. Pooley, owned the White Horse bookshop.  Occasionally, Geoff and I would pop into the White Horse and ask for a Beano annual, which aged sixteen we thought was hilarious.  Looking back on it I've no idea how Mr Pooley put up with us.”

Apart from his busy role as rector, Reverend Chris enjoys walking and is a member of the Chevening Pilgrims.  This all male group has walked, among others, the Pilgrims' Way, the Camino, and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.  The group fundraises at the same time.  

Reverend Chris also has a keen interest in beekeeping.  “I used to keep bees in Chaddleworth and would like to take this up again in Marlborough if anyone can help me.”

He is looking forward to the move and to getting to know the people of Marlborough. “I'm really excited about the new role and can't wait to start in Marlborough.  People have been so friendly and welcoming and we have a real sense of God's call.  I love Jesus and look forward to helping share his good news with anyone and everyone.”