Rector tempted by Wilderness
The Rector of Newark is to take three months’ study leave with his family in South Africa in the summer.
The Rev Vivian Enever (46) his wife, Olivia Blackburn and children Francesca (8) and Cassian (6) will stay in the Diocese of Natal, which is linked with the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, from June to August.
Mr Enever, who has never been to South Africa, said it would be an opportunity to study Christianity and other faiths within a totally different culture.
He will interview key people in and outside the South African church to see what can be learnt to benefit ministry in the UK.
He said there should be the added value for the local and wider church on his return.
Mr Enever said: “It will provide a wonderful informative and educational opportunity, ranging from the discovery of a rich culture, learning about townships, the political struggles and visiting game reserves.
“This will come after 17 years of ordained ministry and five years as Team Rector of Newark.”
Mr Enever said the purpose of study leave was to encourage clergy to undertake research and training for their personal and professional development.
He said: “I am delighted with this opportunity to travel abroad with my family for an extended period of study leave.
“It will be a superb educational opportunity for the children.”
The children, who attend Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Primary School, will miss some of the summer term, but will take work with them.
“My wife is currently attending a two-year course in horticulture at Brackenhurst College and time in South Africa will be an ideal opportunity to study the very different flora and fauna,” he said.
Mr Enever will stay in St Aidan’s Chapel in Wilderness, where he will be the resident priest, and in Pietermaritzberg in Natal while he undertakes his research. He will produce a 5,000-word report.
Wilderness is a seaside town on the Garden Route of the southern cape of South Africa, and is known for its long white sandy beach and lagoons.
It caters principally for holidaymakers.
St Aidan’s has no resident clergy. Instead, it provides free lodging to visiting priests in return for their services.
One parishioner told a South African newspaper: “With the variety of the visiting preachers and their individual styles you never know what to expect.”
Mr Enever has received £3,000 from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group as well as an award from the Archbishop’s Council for Mission and also from the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
Mr Enever said his team clergy would cover in his absence.