The Revd Mark Heather, Chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford, has announced he is leaving to take up a parish incumbency in the Diocese of Chichester, after seven years in the role.
Mark will move to West Sussex after Easter, where he will be incumbent of the joint benefice of Steyning and Ashurst in the Diocese of Chichester.
Mark graduated in Law before training for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, in West Yorkshire. He was appointed curate at St Aidan’s church, Leeds, then vicar of St Wilfrid's, Halton, Leeds, where he spent seven years.
Since becoming chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford in 2010, Mark has served two diocesan bishops – Christopher Hill until his retirement, and Andrew Watson from early 2015.
Returning to "the best job in the Church of England"
Mark Heather said “It has been a joy working for Bishop Andrew, and Bishop Christopher before him. I will miss colleagues and contacts, from whom I have learned much, and thank them for their kindness.
"I am looking forward to returning to the role of parish priest – rightly known as the best job in the Church of England.”
"Gentle prayerfulness and wise counsel"
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson said “I want to extend my enormous personal thanks to Mark for all his support and friendship over the past two years, not least in easing me into my new responsibilities as a bishop here in Guildford. The working relationship between bishops and their chaplains is a special one, and Mark’s gentle prayerfulness and wise counsel will be very much missed by me, as well as by many others across the diocese.
“I want to wish both Mark and Katherine every blessing as they begin the next chapter in Sussex, and assure the people of Steyning and Ashurst they are getting an excellent incumbent.”
Mark’s licensing will be held on 28 April at St Andrew & St Cuthman's church, Steyning.