Vicar, St Paul’s Wickford

Bishop Knisely has appointed the Rev. Spencer Reece, a priest and acclaimed poet, as vicar of St. Paul’s, Wickford.  

Reece, who was born in Connecticut, was ordained to the priesthood in 2011 and served most recently as priest-in-charge at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights, New York. He served previously on the staff of Bishop Carlos Lopez-Lozano of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain, a member church of the Anglican Communion. Shortly after his ordination, he won a Fulbright grant to spend a year teaching poetry at the Our Little Roses orphanage in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. 

“Father Spencer brings a deep spirituality and profound understanding of God’s transcendent love to his ministry at St. Paul’s, Wickford,” Bishop Knisely said. “I am delighted that he has agreed to serve in our diocese.”  

Reece is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he majored in English Literature and studied with Annie Dillard. He holds degrees from the University of York in the United Kingdom, Harvard Divinity School, and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. His poetry was chosen for the Bakeless Poetry Prize by Nobel laureate Louise Glück and adapted into a short film by director James Franco. He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Reece, who cites Henri Frederic Amiel and T.S. Eliot as spiritual inspirations, said, “My dream and prayer and goal is to join the ongoing work of St. Paul’s in spreading Jesus’s radical love into every nook and corner of Wickford. Let kindness be our legacy.” 

 During the parish’s transition, which began when the Rev. Virginia Heistand departed for medical reasons earlier this year, Bishop Knisely is serving as rector and handling the parish’s administrative affairs.