RUGBY’S Rev Mark Beach will be saying goodbye to the town after a “wonderful” eight years following his appointment as the new Dean of Rochester Cathedral.
Mr Beach, who has been at St Andrew’s Church in Rugby since September 2003, officially announced his new role this week. The position puts him in charge of the second-oldest cathedral in the country.
Mr Beach, who is the team rector for St Andrew’s, St Peter and St John and St George in Rugby, said: “I’ve absolutely loved it in Rugby. It’s a great town. I think that people often do it a disservice but we’ve really loved living in Rugby. It’s been a great place for our daughter to grow up. It’s been a wonderful eight years.”
As well as his ministerial role, Mr Beach has played an active part in the community. He is the chairman of the board of Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and is a member of the Rugby Operatic Society. He will perform his last role as part of the group at Rugby Theatre next week.
Mr Beach has also played an active role in setting up the Hope4 homeless charity and the Rugby Street Pastors.
He said: “I’ll miss the people the most.
“We’ve made some great friends through the church and in the town. I’ve really enjoyed building relationships with the council and working with all the different mayors.
“I’m ready for a new challenge. It’s a very different kind of job and it’s every exciting.”
Mark and wife Annabel will leave Rugby in April, although they will still continue to visit the town where daughter Ellie, 15, will be boarding at Rugby School.
Rev Beach, who is familiar with parts of Kent having first studied at the University of Kent, said: “I am delighted to be coming back to Kent, where I spent three very happy years as a student. I often passed over the railway bridge and looked admiringly at the cathedral and castle but never dreamt I would one day live next door.”
The Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, added: “Although we will miss him greatly, I am very glad that his considerable gifts will be put to such significant use in steering the ministry and mission of Rochester Cathedral.”
Rev Beach’s last service at St Andrew’s will take place on Sunday, April 15.
There will be a party afterwards in the church.