Vestry Unanimously Accepts the Rev. John Perry as Rector of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
By Maurice L. Harris | Diocesan Communications Minister
HARDWICK, VERMONT – The vestry of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Hardwick recently made the relationship between their parish and the Rev. John Perry, a bit more permanent. Since May 2015, John had been serving as priest in partnership, a title given to some clergy leaders serving congregations in the latter stages of leadership transition. John now holds the title rector, solidifying his leadership role.
Rector at St. John’s is deemed a “quarter-time” role, which would normally pose a challenge for someone seeking to engage in the work they love. However, “this is the perfect arrangement,” says Fr. John, who retired from full-time work in 2014 and relishes the opportunity to continue his ministry career in his home state of Vermont.
“I was ordained at Christ Church, Montperlier in 1999, but I left Vermont for the Diocese of Northwest Pennsylvania,” Fr. John explains. He served as full-time rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Titusville, PA, and later as rector of Christ Church in Hudson, NY, in the Diocese of Albany, until his retirement.
“At that point, my wife Eleanor and I returned to Vermont. We moved to Danville,” Fr. John continues. “We began worshiping at St. John’s Hardwick and learned of the need for clergy leadership there.”
“My vision for St. John’s is for the congregation to fully realize what God can do with and through them. Over the past three years, I’ve seen strong examples both locally and globally: Making bread for the community lunch program, donating to the Hardwick Area Food Shelf, getting involved in Northeast Kingdom Organizing, and supporting a church community in Zimbabwe,” he says.
Outside of his clerical work, Fr. John’s pastimes include weaving — such as prayer shawls for parishioners — which he does on a hand loom. He also enjoys woodworking, hiking and fly fishing. His wife Eleanor, also retired, serves as a guardian ad litem in the Vermont Judiciary, advocating for children involved in court cases.
Featured photo: The Rev. John Perry (file photo).