“St. Peter’s Church, greet your new rector!” Bishop Carlye Hughes told the masked Morristown congregation on Saturday.
Applause filled the Gothic sanctuary for the Rev. Anne Thatcher.
“Some people say it takes a village. I say, it takes a church,” said Thatcher, known at St. Peter’s as Reverend Anne, giving thanks to the parish, and to family and friends watching a livestream from across the United States, England, Africa and Central America.
Thatcher, 47, previously was associate rector of a Philadelphia parish, St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
Trained to work with traumatized communities, she has led wilderness trips for troubled youths. She also has participated in Christian peacemaker delegations to the Middle East, and human rights training with Cristosal in El Salvador.
At St. Peter’s she succeeds the Rev. Janet Broderick, who left in 2019 after more than a decade to lead a church in Beverly Hills, CA. The Rev. Robert Trache had filled in as interim rector for St. Peter’s 600 members.
Saturday’s service included a hymn in Welsh, in memory of Thatcher’s great grandfather, an Anglican priest in Wales. Offerings were earmarked for St. Peter’s after-school program, which helps low-income working families.
Although Thatcher’s resume includes a stint as vocalist with a Philadelphia garage band, she did not join the group that performed at Saturday’s reception on the Great Lawn.