Former music man Andrew hits right note as new vicar

Church ceremony

Pictured is the Rev Dr Andrew Langley (right) with Rt Rev Nicholas McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth (centre). - Credit: Submitted

A former orchestra musician and surfing teacher is the new vicar of Dartmouth and Dittisham.

It follows the institution of the Rev Dr Andrew Langley at a special service at St Clements Church.

The ceremony was carried out by the Rt Rev Nicholas McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth. The Archdeacon of Totnes the Venerable Douglas Dettmer and the Rural Dean the Rev Prebendary Deborah Parsons were also in attendance. 

Local clergy from the surrounding area also attended as well as members of the community. Graham Webb, Mayor of Dartmouth and his wife, the Rev James Francis RN chaplain of the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth Town Crier and his consort, Les and Liz Ellis, Mark Strudwick from the Dart RNLI and Sir Geoffrey and Lady Mary Newman were in the congregation. 

Dr Langley will be the vicar of four churches known as the United Benefice of Dartmouth and Dittisham - St Clements, St Saviours and St Petrox in Dartmouth, and  St George’s in Dittisham.

Andrew, who joined the churches three years ago as assistant curate, said: “I’m delighted to be appointed the vicar and I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in the life of the local churches.

“Over the past three years I have really got to know the congregations and it’s been a wonderful time. We have some exciting plans for the future which we hope will encourage people that they are always welcomed."

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Andrew went to school in the area before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Music. He spent a number of years in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as a horn player before moving to Hawaii to surf and teach surfing.

There he was introduced to a missionary and was inspired to change direction again. Having completed a doctorate in theology at the University of Oxford, Andrew moved to Dartmouth. His wife Gemma and three children, Noah, 13, Joshua 12 and Hannah, 7 are just as pleased as he is to be staying.

The Rt Rev Nicholas McKinnel said: “Andrew’s appointment as vicar is great news for Dartmouth and Dittisham."