Growing in the Love of God
The Upper Wylye Valley Team
New Priest in Charge for the Upper Wylye Valley Team
Revd. Alison Morley was raised on a small-holding in a rural area of the Isle of Wight and finishedschool there in 1985. She is married to Philip, a Plant Scientist, and they have three children, each ofwhom she schooled at home until the age of 16. Their elder daughter, a land agent, is married to another land agent and they have a young daughter. The younger daughter is at university in London,and their son is studying to be a horse trainer. In 2000 she was called to ministry in the Methodist Church, initially as a local preacher, and studying part-time at STETS in Salisbury for a theology diploma [with merit]. From 2008 she was the Minister of four churches in Wiltshire, two of which were rural; and she studied successfully for a MA part-time at Sarum College between 2009 and 2013. She entered the Church of England and was ordained Deacon in 2013 and Priest in 2014. She became a Curate with Revd. Canon Paul Richardson in Devizes in 2013, and has been seconded, while seeking an incumbency, to the Calne and Blackland Team to assist in rural ministry. In her spare-time she is studying a part-time PhD in Practical Theology at university.
It is clear that Alison has a strong vocation for the sacramental life of the Church of England, and is dedicated to pastoral care of people of all ages and worship in rural parishes. While home educatingher children on the Isle of Wight she gathered a group of over 60 families all engaged in home education, who worked together, with her leading, to ensure an excellent education and social life for their children. She has experience of leading a number of Methodist congregations, and the administration involved in a multi-parish benefice does not present any major challenge to her. She strongly believes that teams of rural churches, such as ours, can flourish. She enjoys rural recreations that include horse riding and dog walking, and her family is her greatest joy.
Richard Southwell, as the chairman of the Team Council, sends this message: ‘We are very fortunate that Alison Morley has found us. We are grateful to all those in the Team who have been involved in the process to advertise, attract and select candidates for this post, to everyone who has held the ring during the Vacancy and, latterly, to all those who prepared for, and helped host, Alison Morley’s visit. This has truly been a ‘team’ effort and we have the best of all possible results to celebrate. The focus for our prayers now shifts from our Team and its needs to Alison, Philip and their family as they settle in here.