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Farewell to Rhona

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Farewell to Revd Rhona Floate

Our vicar, Revd Rhona Floate, left Holy Rood at the end of June to become the Team Rector of the White Horse Benefice, Westbury, Wiltshire, starting there on 14th July, 2016.

Obviously we all want to wish Rhona well in her new post, and we should hold her in our prayers, together with the senior Salisbury Diocesan staff, our Retired Associate Priest Revd Judy Hill, and our Churchwardens, Licensed Lay Ministers, and visiting clergy.



Revd. Rhona Floate wrote:

A Fond Farewell to Bovington, Coombe Keynes, East Burton, East Stoke and Wool

As many of you already know, I will be moving at the end of June, and I hope many of you will be able to share in my farewell service in Holy Rood Church at 10.00am on 19th June. After nine years here, I sensed it was time to explore a different pattern of ministry, based in a town and with a larger team of colleagues.

My new role will be to lead the White Horse Ministry Team that covers the town of Westbury, Wiltshire and the neighbouring village of Dilton Marsh. I will be licensed on 14th July in All Saints Westbury and you are all invited to attend this service too.

It will be hard to leave a place that has become home in a very deep-rooted way, because of the relationships that have been forged here. I want to say a very heartfelt thank you for the welcome, hospitality, friendship and support of people from across the whole community, regardless of whether they are churchgoers or not. It has been a privilege and joy to share in your lives, in both good times and in bad. Thank you to the supportive and dedicated church officers and other ministers with whom I have worked. Whatever has been achieved during my time here has been achieved together, under God’s guidance. I want to particularly commend to you the current team headed by the Church Wardens, Geoff and Brenda, who shoulder additional responsibilities during the vacancy. Please pray for them and assist them in this. As one thing comes to an end, something new begins, and for the church in this parish as well as myself, there are new chapters to be written. It can feel daunting as well as exciting. I have been reminded of how Abram set out from his home not knowing where God was taking him, or how he would use him. But travel he did, and discovered that God was faithful to his promises to him, even though they were not always fulfilled in the ways he might have expected. For us all it is a time to put our trust afresh in God, and be open to his leading through prayer and in conversations with one another. “Goodbye” is a shortened form of the phrase “God be with you” so as I sign off as your Vicar, I want to say “God be with you, and don’t forget to call in on me in Westbury if you’re passing.”

With thanks and prayers,

The Revd. Rhona Floate


A Message from Geoff and Brenda, our Churchwardens:


After Rhona’s last official service on June 19th the parish enters a period known as an interregnum, or perhaps these days as a ‘vacancy’, during which we will have no vicar and the running of the church will be continued by its members.

Although this will mean more involvement for the Church Wardens, the PCC, Judy Hill and our two LLM’s, many others will be continuing to contribute to the life of the church in the way they do now.

As the Diocese literature points out, the appointment of a priest is not the same as a secular recruitment process. An interregnum is a time for reflection; for parishioners to consider the future; to decide where their church is going and what they need of a new priest. That process really starts only after their incumbent has left. Meanwhile it is hoped that the existing patterns of service can be continued with the exception of the second Revive service on the fourth Sunday.

Sunday services will be taken by visiting priests or Judy Hill and mid-week services will be taken mainly by those involved already. Marriages, baptisms and funerals will take place as normal but some of these will involve clergy from outside the parish.

On behalf of the parish we would like to thank Rhona warmly for her ministry amongst the church body and the wider parish. As Church Wardens we have received many expressions of regret that Rhona is leaving but we wish her joy in her new parish of Westbury.

 Rhona will be licensed to Westbury on July 14th and it is hoped that church members will be able to attend the service.

The Church Wardens



Thank you and farewell

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for all your good wishes for the future, and the gift of binoculars for birdwatching, something I have been meaning to treat myself to for a while now. Thank you too for the wonderful farewell lunch.  I moved on Monday 27th June, and my new address will be The Vicarage, Bitham Lane, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3BU. The telephone number is yet to be confirmed, but the email will be the same, so if you are in the area do get in touch.

I look forward to seeing many of you at my licensing to the White Horse Team at All Saints, Westbury, at 7.00pm on 14 July. Until then, thank you and may God bless you.




Revd Rhona’s Licensing to the White Horse Team

This was on the evening of Thursday 14th July at All Saints, Westbury.

Thank you for coming to Westbury

Dear friends,

It was so good to see so many of you at the Licensing Service last Thursday.  I was sorry I did not have a chance to speak to all of you, and thank you individually. I continue to pray for you as you move into a new phase and will be grateful for your prayers for me, as I settle in and begin to learn the ropes in my new role here.

With my love and prayers.















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