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Exning Churches

“Happy to Chat” will not take place during the current coronavirus restrictions

“Happy to Chat” will not take place during the current coronavirus restrictions


After a very busy 7 years up the road as Rector of the Lark Valley & North Bury team ministry, with its ten parishes, and for the last 6 years being also Rural Dean of Thingoe (Bury & District), Mark was looking for a part-time post, and has been delighted to be appointed, working in and with a collaborative team serving the 3 churches in this parish (viz St Martin, St Philip & St Etheldreda on Exning Rd, and St Nicholas Landwade), and working with St Mary Newmarket & St Agnes on Bury Rd, and together serving the growing north side of Newmarket, its schools, the hospital and community life.

Mark has three children, and three grandchildren. Sarah is now a family barrister in London and has a daughter Stella (2). Living close by her in Bethnal Green is Oliver who is married to Alex and works at NHS England HQ. Lucy is co-Deputy Headteacher at Barrow CEVC School near Bury St Edmunds, and is married to Nick and they have two daughters Amelia (9) and Olivia (4) who by September will both be attending Barrow School. Mark and his third faithful Labrador Honey enjoy local walking and spending time with family and friends, and he also hopes to pick up his racquet-sports more often than has been possible in recent years. He also particularly enjoys fellwalking and landscape, choral music, architecture, concerts, theatre and film; he is also a lifetime supporter of Blackburn Rovers FC, and keen follower of ‘the beautiful game’ He continues to sing annually with the Manchester Cathedral Voluntary Choir (this year in Ely Cathedral) and will enjoy becoming musically involved locally in due course.

Mark was brought up in Sale, Blackburn and Altrincham, and is an honours-graduate forester from Aberdeen University (1973) where inter alia he was President of the University Forestry Society, played hockey for the university, and sang in the Scottish Episcopalian Cathedral Choir when not walking in the Cairngorms and West Highlands.

His subsequent 15 year career as a District Officer in the Forestry Commission took him to Peebles, Kendal, Thetford and Ludlow, and it was while working at Santon Downham, Thetford, that he and the family lived at 7 New River Green Exning for 3 years after moving from Brinkley ahead of Sarah’s birth in July 1980; Sarah & Lucy were both christened at St Martin’s!

During what was to be his last post, in Ludlow, his early interest in working full-time for the Church, which surfaced during his time in Exning, became a reality as he began training for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge in 1988, serving his title curacy at Cherry Hinton & Teversham, before becoming Vicar of the Swaffhams & Reach, Rural Dean of Fordham, and Sub-Warden of Readers for the Archdeaconry of Ely, all in the diocese of Ely where he also served on a number of diocesan committees.

After a brief spell as School Chaplain at Framlingham College and Brandeston Hall School in Suffolk, he became Bishop’s Chaplain at Peterborough, moving then to the diocese of Manchester to become Team Rector of the Salford All Saints Team Ministry, where he was also Borough Dean of Salford, and launched Pendleton Rovers FC, a youth outreach initiative which pleasingly is still doing well, again serving on a number of diocesan committees and the Bishops Council.

After 7 years Mark moved to become Vicar of Rochdale, and was made an Honorary Canon of Manchester Cathedral in 2012 in token of his varied diocesan involvements alongside busy parish and team ministry, which latterly included being Chair of the Manchester Area Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).

Here in Suffolk he has served on Diocesan Synod, Bishop Council, Safeguarding Panel, RSCM, Diocesan Council for Church Music, and the Diocesan Board of Patronage, Archdeaconry Mission & Pastoral Committee (as Rural Dean), and was acting Archdeacon of Sudbury covering a sabbatical in 2018. His own sabbatical was from August to November last year, including a project on patterns of governance and clergy deployment with particular reference to market-towns and hinterland villages, following on from being on a task-group in this diocese.

Mark has a real heart for collaborative parish ministry; he is a member of the Society of the Resurrection at Mirfield, West Yorkshire, and has experience of leading away-days and pilgrimages to holy places within these islands. He considers that he has embraced a wide breadth of worship, spirituality, prayer-life and music in his lay and ordained ministry, and that his faith journey is Christ-centred, Biblically-grounded and pastorally-driven, undergirded by a facility and desire for good administration, prayer and parties!

He is going to be contactable at The Vicarage, 1 New River Green Exning no later than June 5th, landline number yet to be allocated, but can always be reached just now on 07932 160 009, or mhaworth50@hotmail.com, and his clear rest-day is Monday.

As we now look to the future, Mark’s hope and prayer is that together we might play our various parts in re-building community life, with the Church at its heart.

April 2020