(from June’s parish magazine)
We invited Rachel to write a short article introducing herself to us, which she has kindly done….
Way back in November, I was delighted to be offered the position of Priest in Charge of Grantchester and Newnham. Due to our daughter’s GCSE exams, it was agreed that we would not move until the summer and that I would start in the new role in early July. We were so grateful for everyone’s understanding about the need to wait and, at the time, July felt a long time off!!
Remembrance Sunday, Advent and Christmas passed and it still seemed a long way off. Then Lent was upon us and we were approaching Easter and, for me, four Annual Church meetings here, and it dawned on me that they would be my last in the Cotswolds. Once Easter was over, it suddenly seemed like we were rather close to moving time! Since then, I have had a number of ‘lasts’ as I said goodbye to people and we are excitedly getting ready for some ‘firsts’ as we move and begin our hellos to all of you. We will move into the Vicarage on Thursday 29th June giving us a week to unpack before my licensing service on Thursday 6th July. I hope to see many of you there and we look forward to getting to know you all, but for now here is a little bit by way of introduction.
I have been married to Sam for twenty years; we met when I went to work as a parish assistant at St James’ Hemingford Grey for a year out after A-levels. The year out became two years, as I took on working for a then local charity, Signpost International, for a year. That then stretched into seven years in Hemingford Grey which included our wedding, my first degree (at Anglia Ruskin) and the birth of both of our children, Joe and Phoebe. Sam’s work, as a civil engineer working in Local Authority, then took us to Surrey for five years. During that time I was partly home with the children and had a number of part-time jobs including managing a counselling centre, tasting beer and spirits for a local independent brewing company, and as a customer services advisor. I also finally began to explore ordination, which was something I had felt called to since my teens. Eventually, I was recommended for ordination training and we moved to Nottingham for me to study. Sam gave up his job at this point to be around for the children and we had two great years at St John’s College, before I started as a curate in Cheltenham following my ordination in Gloucester cathedral.
Once curacy was over, we moved fifteen miles down the road to Bourton on the Water where I have been Rector of five churches since. In between all of this moving about, we have enjoyed travelling (I have become something of an expert in finding cheap flights to new places!) when we can, and watching our children grow and develop into rather fine young people. Joe is just coming to the end of his first year studying Digital Media at Coventry University and Phoebe is looking forward to starting sixth form in Cambridge in September.
We are so looking forward to life in Cambridge, to meeting new people and getting to know the churches and the area – see you at the end of the month!