Ultimately the church is really the people. There might be a local church building, or nine in the case of Stroud. There might be a paid clergy, or three in the case of Stroud. With or without these, the church is the people.
As parish churches, the people is everyone living in and around Stroud. These are your parish churches and you are welcome however and whenever. Whether you come every week, Christmas and Easter or just the occasional wedding and funeral. These are your churches and you are welcome.
Kate is our Team Rector and leads the team.
Her usual day off is Friday.
Graham and I have recently celebrated our Silver Wedding anniversary [in Scotland – it was wonderful!] and have Anna, Bethia and Daniel as well as Topsy the dog, 2 cats and 5 chickens.
Since being charged with bringing the 9 churches and varied, wonderful communities of the Stroud area into a team, I have enjoyed finding out about the characters and uniqueness of each of our worshipping and wider communities. No two days are the same; Monday may be an assembly in school in the morning, a visit to a family preparing for the funeral of a loved one in the afternoon and getting together with the leaders of one of our local churches to plan in the evening, with plenty of phone calls and emails in between. Then Tuesday could be preparing for a service in the morning, a training course in the afternoon and a one to one with one of our leaders in the evening [again, always with plenty of phone calls and emails in between!]
Favorite place to be on a day off: my lovely potting shed we built from scraps during lockdown, or off in our caravan [aka mid-life crisis as the kids would say!]
Something that brings me joy: spending time with friends old and new
Simon is our Team Pioneer.
His usual day off is Saturday.
Ruth and I met at school(!) and have been married now for 35 years and are very proud of our boys as they emerge as adults in the world: Matthew (in the Emergency Services in Bristol), Gabriel (an actor in London) and Noah (recently left sixth-form in Stroud). Ruth is now a deputy head of a primary school, and over the years we have lived and worked in Hong Kong, Cambridge, London, Bristol and now the most beautiful of them all: Stroud!
I have been the Pioneer Minister here since 2014 with a particular vocation to live & work alongside the extensive ‘spiritual but not religious’ community in Stroud, understanding day-by-day what churches that exist in the middle of their community may look like – and hence immersed in that process. Examples of the outworking of this can be found here and here. I am also a Team Vicar engaged in, for example life-events, LMTs, graveyards and safeguarding and, alongside this, am occupied in the development of projects that have a particular eco-spiritual focus such as this and this. Additionally I am Inter Faith Adviser to the Diocese and love playing in the 11-piece multi-faith, dance & meditation band from Stroud, The Raga Babas!
Favourite place to be on a day off: Walking our dog in The Heavens, enjoying the vibrant expressions of whatever season it is, with our extended wider family is always an excellent day.
Something that brings me joy: Watching live theatre and music with family and friends.
Jodie is our Team Manager. A senior member of the team who brings strategic organisation and administration skills. Jodie typically works on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
I live in Middleyard with my husband Chris and young children Annabel and Oscar – who keeps me busy!
My background is in Human Resource Management, and I have spent the past 15 years in this field. I have a passion for supporting the church in welcoming our local families, and for helping the 9 churches to work together collaboratively & enthusiastically. As Team Manager, I organise our Life Events, manage our ChurchSuite database, coordinate meetings/reporting, deal with graveyard & buildings issues, and support team collaboration across our churches. In my Bookings role, I am a central point of contact for all of our halls & churches’ event bookings, dealing with customers and supporting the churches in generating revenue & community links.
Favorite place to be on a day off: meeting up with friends and family, preferably by water or somewhere with lovely food!
Something that brings me joy: cuddles with my gorgeous kids
Helen is our Curate. She is self-supporting, so a volunteer. Her normal days of volunteering are alternating Wednesdays and Saturdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
I live with Peter Hill in Charfield on top of the hill. Our three daughters are all in their thirties. The old toys and favourite books still come out for our five grandchildren though. I’m glad I have to get outside every day to feed and move the chickens to new grass because it makes me look at the sky, notice the birds and what’s going on in the garden.
I am with the Stroud Parish Churches team as a curate (a vicar in a training post) three days plus each week. It’s very enriching to be getting to know the different church communities and to have the opportunity to interact with such diverse expressions of local community. My day can be somewhat like Kate’s – she is my mentor. I am also involved in setting up our bereavement support team, join in our Christian book club and discipleship courses, and volunteer as pastor and sandwich-maker with Marah.
Favorite place to be on a day off: Somewhere wild with big skies and open space.
Something that brings me joy: Seeing the family enjoying being with one another
Matthew is one of our self-supporting ministers, so a volunteer. He brings his strategic thinking and experience to our leadership team and can be found taking services on a Sunday morning.
I have worked in the Stroud Team since the very beginning, prior to this I served my curacy in the parishes of Cainscross and Selsley.
I enjoy a dual vocation to mental health nursing and ministry. This means that while I am a Priest all day every day, I earn my living in the NHS and am physically involved in ministry in the Stroud Team at specific times.
In my day job I am the Chief Operating Officer running Mental Health Services across the Avon and Wiltshire area, during the last two years as the incident commander for COVID-19 I have needed to concentrate most of my efforts on my NHS duties.
However I am always exploring the ways of relating mental health and spiritual wellbeing. In the small amounts of time I have to myself I like to make things, whether its cooking or woodwork, I like to reflect on the meaning and purpose we can / do put into things.
Favourite Place to be on a day off: With my two sons on the western most point of Pembrokeshire watching the seals, porpoises, peregrines and migratory birds arriving and departing.
Something that brings me joy: Being with the people I love and being amazed at the wonder of creation.
Graham is one of our self supporting ministers, so a volunteer. He volunteers his experience and expertise in strategic thinking and communications. He is often found running a project and taking various services on a Sunday.
I’m married to Kate, yes the Rector, and we have the same three children. When I am not ‘working’ then you might find me in the garage fixing or building something, out cycling or walking, or still providing a taxi-service for our kids.
I have worked in churches since 1997 and now I volunteer part- time for Stroud Parish Churches. As well as leading services I tend to provide technical and online support for the many things we are working on as a team. For my ‘day job’ I run a small communications agency.
Favorite place to be on a day off: a local café with coffee, an almond croissant and a book.
Something that brings me joy: the early morning sun.
Dial 020 3956 9054
When requested enter the PIN: 426 239 892#
On a desktop computer
In order for this to work you will need a computer with at least a microphone and speakers. You do not have to have camera, but obviously it helps.
A new window opens and you are taken to one of our video conference rooms using Google Meet
You may need to grant permission to use your camera and microphone.
We will get a notification that someone wants to join the call and we’ll let you in.
On an iPhone or Android
Download the app Google Meet first. Open the app and give it the permissions it needs to access your camera and microphone.
Then come back and click the Ding Dong! button on this page.
In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.
For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.
We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.