St Mary's Haverhill

Welcome to St Mary's Church, Haverhill, Suffolk _______________________

This is a note to say hello to all the good people of St Mary Haverhill! 

My name is Chris Eyden and I am recently appointed the Part time Interim minister assigned to the Parish of Haverhill and Withersfield.

I was licensed by Bishop Martin on September 3rd, both as Interim minister and Adviser for selection and training in the Diocese, which represents the other half of my role.

Up until August of this year, I have been the Parish Priest of All Saints Putney Common in South West London where I served for 15 years. My move to Suffolk comes after 29 years of Ordained ministry in  London and Southwark Dioceses. For the last 12 years in Southwark Diocese, I have been Assistant Director of Ordinands and Bishop's examining Chaplain. I have also been preparing to be a Diocesan and National selector and I will in due course, be a National selector representing the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, complementing my work in selection and training within the Diocese.  I will be working alongside and  assisting, Tim Jones The Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

I now live in Bury St Edmunds, in the Deanery of the Cathedral, with the Dean and our now elderly, cat! (Come to think of it, all three of us are pretty elderly now!) I am spending a lot of time driving backwards and forwards between Bury and Haverhill/Withersfield, which is challenging to say the least.

The role of Interim minister is commonplace in The American Episcopal Church and some Dioceses within the Church of England, but we are new to the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. Eventually,
I understand there will be three of us serving across the Diocese. I think I may be the first! 

Being the first of anything is both interesting and challenging. I am looking carefully at the American Episcopal model which sees the Interim Minister as "forerunner". I will work within the Parish for 3 days a week, providing some continuity and looking carefully at the ministerial requirements  within the community, discerning what is desirable and what is possible, and what the future of the parish might look like, in a rapidly changing church and world. On behalf of the Bishop, I will be listening and looking in equal measure. Eventually, I will be here to assist those making the decisions about the appointment of a new Rector for the Benefice and hopefully, handing over a settled and fertile place for him or her to begin their ministry. I am here for up to a year and in that time, I will be the Priest in church and at the Altar, on Sundays and Wednesdays in Haverhill and monthly at Withersfield. In so far as I am able, within the time available to me, I will take care of Funerals, weddings and Baptisms within the Parish.

My normal working days will be Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I will work part of Thursday and part of Saturday when funerals, weddings or Baptism preparation are required. The remainder of my time is allocated to training and vocations. My day off is Friday.

The People of St Mary's Haverhill have already given me a wonderful welcome and made me feel at home very quickly. I'm enjoying getting to know you all and join with you in the celebration of the Eucharist on Wednesdays and Sundays. I've also been able to enjoy "Elevenses" on Sundays too. Great fun for me. We have a lot to look forward or as the year unfolds. Harvest Festival. A Pet Blessing Service. All saints and All Souls and then Advent and Christmas; and then 2020 and hopefully, toward the end of next year, a New Rector for the benefice. Hold on to your hats!!

In the meantime, you have my prayers and my good wishes

If you wish to contact me about any issue; my email is the best way.

With Prayer and all good wishes.

Chris Eyden


Our Forthcoming services:

Wednesday 26th February - 9.30am Eucharist Ash Wednesday

Café Church - 12pm 28th February 

Sunday 1st March - 9.30am Eucharist

Elevenses - 11am

Withersfield Church

11:15am Holy Communion 



At St Mary's Haverhill, We are committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.  

Our Safeguarding Officer is:
Jane Eccleston - you can contact by email at

If you have any concern about the safety of a child within St Mary's community or the safety of a vulnerable adult, you can safely and confidentially contact the Safeguarding officer who will take you concerns very seriously and after listening to your concerns, take whatever action is appropriate and necessary.

You can also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 

Gavin Stone
Director of Strategic Planning and Communications and Head of Safeguarding
Tel: 01473 298522

Karen Galloway
Interim Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor
Tel: 07785 621319

To report an online concern to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, please visit the web address below:

Suffolk Police - Non-Emergency number: 101
Suffolk County Council Customer First: 0808 800 

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours) -
Phone if you are worried about a child.
Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours) - Phone if you are child or young person and are worried about anything.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours) - Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours) - Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)


The Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich
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