A new vicar in Bedford is ‘privileged’ to be in his position and is looking forward to playing an inclusive role in the town.
Father Kevin Goss, who was installed at St Paul’s Church in Market Square at a special service, told the T&C: “My role at the moment is to come in and listen and find out what’s going on. I’m aware a lot of people from different cultural traditions are making an impact on Bedford and it’s our joy to be part of that at St Paul’s - to be partners with people who are doing good work in the town.
“It’s important to build community. At St Paul’s we offer ourselves as an inclusive community - and I am very privileged to be here.”
Father Kevin also gave his support to women clergy saying: “I’m for women priests. The New Testament said Christ is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, and Christ came to build a new humanity. Women as bishops and priests affirms that which is important. But I also understand very clearly for some people it’s difficult. Here at St Paul’s we want to build a community where everybody, whatever their opinion is welcomed and affirmed, and has a place in the Church of England.”
Rev Goss, who is also a trained musician, said: “I studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, gaining professional diplomas in piano, clarinet and organ as well as music degrees. I also broadcast on BBC radio and played in cathedrals and major churches.
“What set me on the road to becoming a vicar was an inspirational chaplain who breezed into my study one day and asked: ‘Have you ever thought of being ordained?’ I was stunned but once I picked my jaw off the ground I began to think there may be something in it.”
Rev Goss also met the Queen when he was at Canterbury Cathedral as the Cathedral Precentor.
He said: ”Over my time there I directed special services including Dr Rowan Williams’ enthronement as Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Royal Maundy with the Queen. I met her and the Duke of Edinburgh over drinks afterwards. She was very nice, very charming.”
He also revealed his choice of comedy sitcom saying: “I enjoy Dawn French as ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ but Tom Hollander as Adam Smallbone in ‘Rev’ is the most realistic - almost uncannily so. I remember watching it at a clergy supper party and we roared with laughter!”