Revd Anne Gilbert to be the new vicar of Rochdale
Date published: 07 April 2021
Revd Anne with her parents, Sheila and the late Revd Fred Gilbert, at her ordination as priest in 2019
The Revd Anne Gilbert, the new vicar of Rochdale, was born to become a priest.
As the daughter of a Church of England vicar, she was born in Goodshaw Vicarage, Rawtenstall where her late father, Fred, was vicar of St Mary and All Saints.
She grew up in vicarages across the region, including that at St Aidan's in Sudden, Rochdale, where her dad was vicar between 1975 and 1980.
Her ordination in Manchester Cathedral nearly three years ago was a family affair, given that her brother, Mark, and his son, Sean – Anne's nephew – are also ordained priests, Mark in Petworth in the diocese of Chichester, East Sussex and Sean in Croydon.
"I've never known my Dad be as proud as he was on the day I was ordained," said Anne, who went into teaching initially, first in Uckfield, Sussex, then in Brecon, South Wales and finally at Hathershaw College in Oldham, where she taught RE, among other subjects, for 25 years.
For much of that time she lived in Shaw before relocating to Smallbridge when she left teaching in 2018 to become curate of St Andrew's, Dearnley in the benefice of Dearnley, Smallbridge and Wardle.
For the past three years she has served the benefice under the watchful eye and the tutelage of the vicar of St Andrew's, the Revd Rachel Battershell.
Anne continued: "I've grown to love the people at St Andrew's and at Wardle Village Church. It will be a wrench to say farewell, but I'm thrilled to be taking up my Incumbencies in Rochdale and I can't wait to get started.
"I'm a northern girl and it's here in this part of the north that I feel most at home. That's why I took the teaching post in Oldham and stayed there for so long.
"I've lots of friends in Shaw as well and I'm really happy to be staying in Rochdale.
"It will be a challenge, but I love a challenge and I'm looking forward eagerly to getting started."
Anne will become Incumbent of Rochdale's Parish Church, St Chad's, as well as St Mary In The Baum, St Edmund's, Falinge, St Luke's at Deeplish and St Peter's at Newbold.
She will be working with the help of an ordained local minister and two Readers, but she will be the only stipendiary priest.
She was offered the posts by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Dr David Walker, after a successful interview by the Bishop of Middleton, the Rt Revd Mark Davies.
Anne's licensing date has yet to be finalised, but it will be in early summer.
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