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

47 minutes ago

Seaton Branch of the Royal British Legion’s poppy collections raised a massive £14,763.84 this year – up £2,500 on 2015.

Read more
15:00

Lyme’s two Town Mill galleries are currently featuring up-cycled vintage items as well as brand-new artwork to help people sort out their Christmas gift list.

Read more
11:00

Following the success of its Silent Auction in October, Musbury Church, is having a Christmas Craft Fayre in Musbury Village Hall on Saturday, December 3, from 10am to 1pm.

Read more
07:00

Seaton and District Hospital League of Friends received a generous £1,500 donation from friends in Beer.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Honiton Round Table will be touring the town with its Santa Sleigh and raising money at the same time for good causes.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Youngsters at Offwell Primary School were enthralled by a performance put on by a touring theatre group.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Pupils at Littletown Primary Academy in Honiton have shown their support for this year’s Shoebox Appeal.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:57

Visitors looking to do Christmas shopping can benefit from cheaper parking in East Devon, thanks to a returning offer from the district council.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A doctor who has served Honiton’s community for more than 28 years has announced his retirement.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Seaton and District Lions Club will be transporting Father Christmas to towns and villages across the Axe Valley again this year.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications