A NEW vicar from the Canaries is set to take the place of vicar Mark Howarth after he quit for personal reasons before he started the role.

The Bishop of Dorchester and the team rector will appoint the Rev. Paul Wignall as associate team vicar for the bridge group of parishes.

He will be the new vicar for the Wittenhams and Clifton Hampden, near Didcot.

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Mr Wignall is currently serving as chaplain in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria where he lives with his wife Carlynn.

He was born in Cornwall, but his family was originally from Lancashire. He has three grown-up children: Tim, Lucia and Peter, and one grandchild, Delila. The new vicar enjoys walking, exploring and travelling. He has written plays, poems and books on Shakespeare and has had plays for young people performed in many places, from the RSC to schools.

The previous vicar Mark Howarth quit the new job only a few weeks after he started. The Rev. Canon Howarth cited ‘personal reasons’ for his decision.

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He was due to have been licensed at a ceremony in Dorchester Abbey in March by the Bishop of Dorchester the Rt. Rev Colin Fletcher but the service had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Howarth moved into the vicarage in High Street, Long Wittenham, two weeks before his licensing but has since moved out.

Mr Wignall will be joining the team in October and he is hoping move into the vicarage in late September.