The United Benefice of Matlock, Dethick, Lea and Holloway
– The significance of June 1st 2014
It is now eleven years since I came to Matlock and ten years since I was asked to take on responsibility for the parish of Dethick, Lea and Holloway. Whereas at Saint Giles I am Rector, at Dethick, Lea and Holloway my official title has always been ‘Minister Responsible’. There I have generally been known as ‘Vicar’ but on anything legal, such as in the marriage registers, I have had to write ‘Minister Responsible’
After ten years of working together, the parishes of Saint Giles, Matlock, and Dethick, Lea and Holloway decided it was right to become one united benefice and, after the due legal process, on 1st June this year we became the benefice of Matlock, Dethick, Lea and Holloway. The two parishes remain distinct with their separate parochial church councils and finances together with their different traditions. But the two parishes are now committed to working together in worship, mission and ministry.
It does have the minor advantage that I don’t have to write ‘Minister Responsible’ after my name on marriage registers at Dethick or Christ Church! Whenever I have done so, I have thought what fun it must be to be a ‘Minister Irresponsible’! From now On I will be ‘Rector’ in Dethick, Lea and Holloway as well as Saint Giles. When two parishes are joined in a united benefice, where one of the parishes has used the title of ‘Rector’, that title is now used in both parishes. That doesn’t have any real significance. The difference between Rector and Vicar is purely historical. A Rector originally receiving the tithes and a Vicar being paid a stipend.
Most of this is quite unimportant. What is important is that two parishes are signifying their wish to work together in the cause of the gospel.