Trinity Church, the oldest Episcopal congregation in Rhode Island, has announced the departure of their Rector, The Rev. Canon Anne Marie Richards.
The Canon began her tenure at Trinity on May 9, 2010, and will complete her work at Trinity on Sunday, April 28, 2019, having served almost exactly nine years. In May, the Richards family will relocate to Baltimore, Maryland, where Canon Richards will serve as Rector of Emmanuel Church.
“Thanks to Canon Richards’ leadership, Trinity Church Newport, is a growing congregation where old blends with new and the future is bright,” a statement from the church states. “When called as Trinity’s 30th (and first female) Rector in 2010, Anne Marie knew that the parish was looking for a leader who would achieve numerical growth and increased community engagement while also addressing critical organizational development issues”.
“Today, Trinity is a well-managed parish with an average Sunday attendance of close to 200, and is actively involved in providing love and care for neighbors near and far,” the church went on to write in the statement. “Canon Richards has overseen the restart of the Sunday School program, introduced new family-friendly liturgies, connected Trinity with social media outlets, and shared in the launch of a significant capital campaign. To be sure, this was no solo act”.
As Canon Richards said this week, “I’ve been blessed with the best ministry partners possible – people with deep faith, energy, skills, and a real commitment to this grand old church.”
The parish will celebrate Canon Richards’ time at Trinity with a festive service at 10:00 am on Sunday, April 28. A reception honoring Anne Marie and her husband, Brook, will follow in the parish house, Honyman Hall. The whole community is invited to attend both the service and the reception.
After Canon Richards departure, Tatiana Schweibenz, Trinity’s Senior Warden (lay leader) will assume overall leadership of the parish, The Rev. Alan Neale will continue to serve as Assisting Priest, and an Interim Rector will be called to Trinity over the summer. The Episcopal Church follows a time-tested method for calling a permanent Rector to a parish, a process that is expected to take approximately 10 months.