I am looking forward to joining you in Attleborough and Besthorpe as your Assistant Curate, God willing, in a few weeks’ time, and to our becoming friends in the months and years ahead of us. I worshipped with you at the Parish Eucharist on Advent Sunday and fondly imagined that I was incognito – but I should have known better and, having been swiftly ‘spotted’, was grateful for the warm welcome you gave me! So I look forward to getting to know you and to joining in with the life of the Church and parish. Please do help me in the weeks ahead by reminding me of your names when we see each other, and don’t be shy of pointing out if I’ve accidentally rechristened you!
I’m coming to you after three years of training for Ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge, where Tom also prepared for ministry. During that time I’ve drunk too much coffee and not learned as much as I should have, but I’ve just completed a year as Senior Student of the House which has at least made me look busy. The Church’s theological colleges and training institutions have a difficult and important job to do in preparing men and women for Ordination, especially these days, and your prayers will make a big difference to them if you could remember them from time to time.
Before I came to Westcott I spent four years at Pembroke College, also in Cambridge, where I read theology as an undergraduate and then graduate student. During these years I’ve worshipped at Little St Mary’s, a fine church which has taught me a lot about the importance of the Church as a caring, worshipping, nurturing community. I was born and brought up in Prestwich, near Manchester.
I don’t know Norfolk very well at all, so am excited about moving to such a beautiful part of the country and to getting to know the county and the Diocese as I make my home among you. I’ll be moving into the Curate’s house at some point during June, and will be with you at all the services on Sunday 5th July after being ordained as a Deacon in the Cathedral the previous day, Saturday 4th July, at 10.30am. All are welcome at that service: Ordinations are joyful occasions for the whole Church, so do have a word with the Rector if you’d like to come and join other friends and family for the Eucharist and then for a drink afterwards.
I’d be very grateful for the kindness of your prayers as my time in Cambridge draws to a close and I prepare for Ordination: please be assured of mine for you.
With warmest good wishes,