THE new vicar for the area has returned to familiar ground.

Reverend Tim Laundon was installed as the Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Ludgershall and Tidworth last month, but this is not the first time he has been to the area.

Previously Rev’d Laundon carried out duties as the chaplain for Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals whilst living in Tidworth.

He then went on serve as a ‘cover vicar’ in Windsor before stumbling across the advert for his new position.

Rev’d Laundon said: “I only came across the advert by chance and although I certainly tried my best when I was filling in the application form I had no idea if I’d be called for interview.

“As things have turned out, not long after we’d moved all of our possessions, our dog and our ducks out of a house in Tidworth we’ve found ourselves moving them all back to Wiltshire and into the Rectory in Ludgershall.”

Rev’d Laundon is not only looking forward to getting to know his parishioners but is also hoping to become involved in the community.

He said: “I will be a fairly traditional vicar of Ludgershall and Tidworth, I am interested in a lot of things, I like to be an active member of the community.

“It is nice, I have the impression, that Holy Trinity and St James’ are quite outward looking and people are very much routed in the community. I am very pleased to be joining them with that, being a member of the church and the wider community.”

Rev’d Laundon’s induction and installation was conducted by the Bishop of Salisbury The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, who was accompanied by a bishop from South Sudan who said a few words at the end of the service.

Rev’d Laundon said: “I don’t think I’ve ever come across a place where the Town Council and the local church have such a good relationship and I was really encouraged by the number of representatives of local organisations and community groups who came to my welcome service at the end of last month.”

Town council members, community groups and Rev’d Laundon’s former colleagues from the hospital, and wife Amy also attended the service.

Rev’d Laundon replaces Claire Maxim who left the benefit last year and is now working for Germinate, a charity for rural ministries.