Vicar moving to Canada

13:12 13 February 2013

The Reverend Alastair McCollum.

The Reverend Alastair McCollum.

Archant

Chance meeting led to job offer.

The Midweek Herald is to lose its only columnist, the Reverend Alastair McCollum - but it is for a good reason.

Following a chance meeting that led to a job offer, he and his family are moving to British Columbia to serve the Anglican Church of Canada.

Mr McCollum, the vicar of the Five Alive Mission community in the Axe Valley and the Rural Dean for Honiton, will deliver his last sermon on British soil on Sunday, June 23.

He will be leaving the UK on the anniversary of his ordination in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1996 and just a month before he and his wife, Jo, celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.

The couple have two children, Katherine, 11, and Jack, eight.

Mr McCollum, 43, who grew up in Honiton, one of 17 children, said: “I was going to stay here forever.

“Then, I did a funeral in Kilmington and the deceased’s son, who volunteers at the cathedral in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, told me a church in the city was looking for a rector and that he thought I would be the right person for the job.”

After four telephone interviews, including one with the Bishop of Victoria, and lengthy written assignments, Mr McCollum and his family were invited to travel to Canada.

The family made the journey last summer.

“It was obvious they were quite keen,” he said. “The kids loved it; they really liked the people and the people liked them.

“I took on the Rural Dean role because I thought we would be here for years. I wasn’t looking to move.”

Mr McCollum sought the advice of the Venerable David Gunn-Johnson, the former Rector of Colyton who is now the Archdeacon of Barnstaple, who indicated the move could be part of God’s plan.

Mr and Mrs McCollum will be moving to Canada on work visas and will be classed as ‘landed immigrants’. They are not emigrating.

He acknowledges that life at the vicarage in Kilmington has had some major plus points - his children’s school is just the other side of the garden hedge and the church is about 20 paces from his front door.

“You can become comfortable,” he said.

“But there is no such thing as a sleepy Devon village. There is always something going on.

“I wake up in the morning, look out of the window and think ‘Wow! It’s beautiful’.”

After almost five years in the Axe Valley, the McCollums are an integral part of the community.

“I will miss the people,” said former Honiton Primary School pupil Mr McCollum.

“You’ve got some real ‘do-ers’, who give their all to their villages and their churches.

“The people around here have got a real desire to be part of a community.

“I will also miss the Tuckers Arms at Dalwood! I think pubs are important, as well as churches.”

Looking ahead to his new role in the capital of British Columbia, he added: “I am going to have just one church to look after for the first time in 13 years.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 11:00
Honiton Hospital. Picture by Terry Ife. Ref mhh 0072-03-07TI

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body earlier this month.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Isobel Simpson, winner of the ice-cream competition with her 'Orange Secret' with Val Voysey of Furzeleigh Down dairy . Ref mha 1087-29-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Axminster Primary School pupils challenged to create new flavour

Read more
Wed, 17:15
Mimi Cook joined several other heart and lung transplant patients for the fundraising mountain mission.

She described the challenge as the ‘hardest, scariest, most challenging, rewarding, eye opening, proudest thing’ she has ever done.

Read more
Wed, 11:10
The damage caused by vandals.

An appeal has been made by police, who are urging any witnesses to the incident, or anyone with information, to come forward.

Read more
Wed, 07:48
Axminster police station

£250,000 scheme revealed to improve the notorious Hunters Lodge junction on the A35 near Axminster

Read more
Tue, 15:00
A mountain bike similar to this one was stolen from outside a property in High Street, Honiton.

The bike is a Carrera Vulcan and is very distinctive.

Read more
Tue, 10:02
Pirates on parade in Seaton. Photo Ian Barradale

Jolly Roger to be hoisted over Windsor Gardens

Read more
Tue, 09:41

The incident took place at Marlpits Lane at 5.37pm.

Read more
Mon, 14:59
Seaton police station

Unknown resident sent youths packing after their tried to break into Townsend Medical Practice

Read more
Mon, 11:00
Naomi Gilbert, founding member of Action on Postpartum Psychosis charity, with her daughters Ella, four, and Anya, nine. Ref mhh 4730-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) was founded in 2012, and offers peer support to mums and dads suffering from the illness.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition


Honiton's trusted business finder