Canon Gary Philbrick has bid farewell to communities across the Fordingbridge area as he begins a new chapter as Chaplain at Winchester Cathedral.

A farewell service was held at Burgate School and Sixth Form with tributes, anecdotes, photographs and hymns celebrating his ministry as Rector of Avon Valley Churches from 2013 to 2022.

Gary was presented with a line drawing of all seven churches in the parish by artist Jen Oulton, as well as a gift from the Fordingbridge Air Cadets, just one groups Gary has supported in the community.

Conducted by Hazel Ricketts and accompanied by Tim Ruffer, the St Mary’s Fordingbridge Choir performed Gaelic Blessing.

Gary said: “I thank you, Avon Valley Churches, for the love, kindness and support you have shown me over these last years. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to minister in this place. As I leave, I carry with me all that I have learned here.”

Gary now begins a new chapter as Cathedral Chaplain at Winchester Cathedral.

He will combine his work as Chaplain, in which he will be responsible for the pastoral care and support of Cathedral staff, volunteers and regular worshippers, with that of Assistant Archdeacon for the Diocese of Winchester.

The Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle said: “Gary is extremely well placed to make a significant contribution to the life of Winchester Cathedral as its next Chaplain.

"Gary’s appointment is a real benefit to the Cathedral, bringing with him a gracious, thoughtful, wise and encouraging presence, which I know will make him a brilliant addition to the team.”


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