A Letter from our Communications Team

We’re delighted to introduce you to our 31st Rector! Father Timothy Watt has accepted our call to serve as Rector of Trinity Church. We expect to welcome him and his wife Tanya around July 1st.

Father Tim had a wealth of work experience in academia, non-profits, and facilities development before heading to seminary and ordination. Since ordination, he has served at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown, and is currently Associate Rector at Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

His resume attracted our attention, but it is his love of ministry that cemented our call to him. He delights in being with people in pastoral care, incorporating others into our ministry, faith development, in the many aspects of liturgy, preaching, and teaching. His skill set also includes website development, on-line outreach, a popular podcast (The Irreverends – available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts), capital project management, fund raising, facilities management… Skills that seem tailor-made for our congregation as we move forward with our capital campaign for Trinity Serves and adjust our ministry and worship to the emerging “new normal” in the world of social distancing.

He’s excited about Trinity Serves, the new building design, and loves that the project is focused on community needs as well as our internal desires.

Our Welcome Team will now swing into action to help Father Tim and Mother Tanya, who is also an Episcopal Priest, to settle here in the Ocean State and beautiful Newport. We may need to get creative about how we celebrate their arrival, but celebrate we will!

Terry Commodore
Communications Team

Introduction Video from Fr. Timothy Watt

A Letter from Fr. Timothy Watt

Dear People of Trinity Church Newport,

Greetings in the Risen Christ! I am very excited to join you as your 31st Rector on July 1! The days since I accepted the vestry’s call to be your rector have been joyous, yet busy. They coincided with Holy Week in a time of pandemic, when we have needed to reimagine how to be church during a time of quarantine. I am happy to now have the time and opportunity to write this letter to you, my new church family. Tanya, my wife, and I are very excited to be joining you soon!

As I read over your parish profiles many months ago, I recognized the many ways that my experience and gifts were closely aligned to the desired qualifications and hopes you expressed for your next rector. As one who loves to preach and teach, I saw that you are disciples of Christ. This is evident not only in your words but by your actions, and I grew excited to come and share the faith with you. I was particularly inspired by your capital campaign project to build a multi-use facility for the broader Newport community as well as the parish. My experience in facilities management and fundraising will be immediately put to good use when I arrive. As I looked more deeply, I recognized in you a community seeking relationship with one another as well as the world and began to feel a desire to join you in your ministry. After a few weeks of discernment, I finally asked Tanya to read over the profile and let me know what she thought. Her answer was an unequivocal: “You must apply for this. That’s you they’re looking for.” Over the last couple of months, Tanya and I have had the pleasure of meeting and growing into a relationship with members of Trinity’s search committee and vestry. With each subsequent meeting, the Holy Spirit has spoken ever more clearly that Trinity is the church family to which God is calling me.

I write to you while we are undergoing an unprecedented moment in the world, nation, Church, and the parish. A transition during a time of pandemic is not what any of us expected for our new beginning together. The future may look uncertain. But let us be not afraid. We now walk together, faithful in our witness to Jesus Christ, who is always the same and always faithful. Queen Anne’s motto on the royal arms now hanging in Honyman Hall proclaims the truth of Christ: Semper Eadem, “Always the Same.” Christ came as one who serves, and He is always asking us to do as He does. What I heard during each of my conversations with the search committee and vestry is that this is a Parish that serves. Service is the “Semper Eadem” of Trinity’s identity. The pandemic will pass, but our service together will remain and will grow.

Trinity has been instrumental in growing the Church in New England through missionary service, through serving those in need, and through educating the community. These goals have remained constant, always the same, but the ways in which you have pursued them has changed over time. As your rector I look forward to working with you in building a new facility to serve our community as well as maintaining the beautiful heritage of our colonial church. Matthew 13:52 reminds us that we who study the scriptures are called to be stewards who bring forth the old and the new from God’s storeroom. I look forward to working with you as we build on a spiritual structure so well rooted in over 300 years of tradition. Together we will be a community of faith that gathers around dining tables, the altar, and on-line in order to support one another in our walk in Christ; preparing us for our work in the Kingdom of God, preparing us to serve evermore faithfully.

The motto of our current capital campaign can easily be applied to the historical and present mission of this parish: Trinity Serves. Always the Same, Historic, and Present: Trinity Serves. I now look forward to joining you as your pastor and as one who teaches and serves alongside you.

Through my research and reading, particularly Dr. Hattendorf’s excellent volume, Semper Eadem, I have become acquainted with the legendary preachers whose footsteps I follow up the ten steps into Trinity’s pulpit. Even as I look back at the parish history, I look forward to our future together, joining in Trinity’s many important ministries with you. It is with humility that I accept this call to serve among you as your rector, pastor, preacher, and fellow disciple. Although I am not yet with you, please know that you are now with me in my thoughts and prayers. I very much look forward to writing the next chapter of our parish’s storied history with you, always the same, in service to God and to one another.



Q&A The Vestry with Fr. Tim – Part 1 & 2