New Vicar Licensed at Arbory and Castletown

The Reverend Simon Archer has been licensed as Priest in Charge of the Parish of Arbory and Castletown in a service held on the evening of Tuesday 26 September at Arbory Parish Church. His first services in the benefice will be this coming Sunday 1 October. Simon was born in Rainham, Kent, a commuter town in Medway. He was baptised into the Methodist Church and went to a Church of England school. He worshipped at St. Margaret’s Church in Rainham with his wife and growing family, and a later move of home and career meant attending St. James’s Church on the Isle of Grain, a remote peninsula in the Thames Estuary. It was there that he became more involved in the mission and outreach of the church and discovered through the discernment of others, his calling to ministry. Simon studied at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and went on to serve as Assistant Curate at Christ Church, Erith. In May 2019 Simon became the Priest in Charge and then Vicar of All Saints, Belvedere. Simon ministered to the church and community through the pandemic and is happy that it is now a lively and flourishing church. During the pandemic Simon also developed an online ministry through live streams and video games and became known as “The Gaming Vicar” appearing on the BBC, CBS and various radio stations ever since. Simon has had a varied career having worked in insurance, technology and even having been a pub landlord! He also spent some time as a Special Constable with Kent Police. Along with being a parish priest, Simon is in the Digital Working Group and also Evangelism and Apologetics Working Groups for the Diocese of Rochester. He is a director on the board of Trinitas Academy Trust and has been Padre to an Air Training Corps squadron. Simon’s wife, Tasha, is an Anna Chaplain, visiting and taking spiritual care to the elderly. They have four children, one at university, one about to start 6th form and the others in secondary education. The family also has a dog, Luna, who completes the team. Simon says, “The whole family is incredibly excited to be joining the communities of Arbory and Castletown. I can’t wait to share the great joy of my faith and to work alongside the amazing team of lay, licensed and ordained people already hard at work sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in such a beautiful place.”