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Pastoral Assistants are trained and authorised by the local diocese. They undertake all kinds of caring roles including visiting the sick, baptism visiting, home communions, leading small groups and so on.
With the exception of approximately 18 months living in Bexleyheath following marriage to Linda in 1973, I have lived my entire life in Gravesend. Born in 1949 I spent the first sixteen years living in Whitehill Lane with mum and dad, an older sister and younger brother. In 1966 the family moved to Parrock Road. Linda and I currently live in Ferndale Road.
We had attended St George’s Church in Gravesend for very nearly thirty years during which time we were blessed with three children, Daniel, Ian and Hannah when in 2006 we found ourselves called to Christ Church, something of a home coming for me as I had previously sung in the choir as a boy in the late fifties and early sixties, together with my brother Alan. Having arrived at Christ Church we very soon found ourselves involved in various aspects of church life
In March 2008 I took early retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service, where I had spent twenty two years as a member of the civilian staff, and later that year was asked if I might consider training to become a Pastoral Assistant. In 2009 I was accepted for training as a PA to which ministry I was authorised, in October 2011 , following two years of training and study and having achieved The Certificate of Higher Education in Ministerial Theology
In my ministry as a PA I support the older members of the congregation both in church and in their own homes.
I have been coming to Christ Church for 34 years. I was happily married there in June 1978. In my youth I spent time as part of the choirs at Holy Trinity Church, St James’s Church and then St Georges Church, which are all located within Gravesend. I also went to the Methodist Church, Gravesend on Church Parade Sundays.
I wanted to marry in Christ Church as my parents had married there in August 1944.
Nowadays, I am very happily married to Stephen, who is the church treasurer. We have two adult sons who have both flown the nest and live in London and Gravesend respectively. Just as importantly we have a lovely west highland terrier called Rosie - she is the apple of my eye.
After leaving school I went to work into foreign banking, where I hit the jackpot when I met Stephen.
After the children started school I studied Nursery Nursing at college and went on to work in a school nursery opposite Christ Church for 15 years. I now work at Ifield School, Gravesend, a special needs cluster school.
Part of my ministry as a Pastoral Assistant will be supporting the bereaved in our community.