St. John’s Episcopal welcomes new Rector

WINNSBORO – After seven years without a pastor, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Winnsboro now has a new rector, Father Slaven Manning.

 St. John’s shares Father Manning with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Newberry, whose congregants have been without a priest since this past June.

Father Slaven Manning | Contributed

The sharing program was initiated by Bishop Daniel Richards of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Winnsboro and Newberry were holding services with supply (visiting) clergy and the concept of priest sharing among these neighboring parishes seemed like a logical solution. Both St. John’s and St. Luke’s were receptive to the idea and chose Manning to be their rector.

Each church provides 50 percent of the cost and receive 50 percent of Manning’s time. He spends two Sundays per month at each church and rotates between them on fifth Sundays. The first and third Sundays Manning is at St. Luke’s and at St. John’s on the second and fourth Sundays.  Office days are Monday and Tuesday at St. Luke’s and Wednesday and Thursday at St. John’s.

“If all goes well,” Manning says, “we can use this model for other churches in the Diocese. So far, I’m enjoying being part of the experiment, and it seems that members of both parishes are enjoying it as well.”

Originally from Irving, Texas, Manning has been a priest for 35 years. After graduating from Nashotah House Theological Seminary, he was ordained a priest in 1987. In 1996 he took a sabbatical and became a Microsoft certified systems engineer. During 2008-2015 he worked full time as an MSCE and part time as a bi-vocational (dual occupation) priest in Hurst, Texas. After his decision to return to the priesthood full time, he became rector at St. Francis of Assisi in Chapin, SC from 2015-2021.

Manning says he is optimistic about the future of St. John’s.

“While St. John’s is a small parish, its members are doing mighty things in service to the community and the world at large. I’m amazed at the many activities they’re involved in—the Shoebox Project, the card ministry for trustees at the Detention Center, the Middle School’s Special Needs Closet, the food bank, the Council on Aging Angel Tree, the list goes on,” he said.

At the end of Mass, Manning asks for announcements from the church committees and several people stand to report on various community service projects

“This is what going to church means,” he says at the conclusion of the announcements. “A coming together to share fellowship and give assistance to our neighbors and others around the world —working as a team to get things accomplished.”

Manning said St. John’s will continue to be a place of sanctuary, love, and spiritual growth for Winnsboro and surrounding communities.

“You don’t have to be an Episcopalian to join our congregation,” he says. “Our members are a diverse group with different ages, experiences, and religious backgrounds. We welcome all.”

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 301 West Liberty Street in Winnsboro. For information on church services or to participate in community service projects, contact the church at (803) 635-4398 or email at [email protected].

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]