Sunday, 26 October 2008

New Minister in Woughton Parish

Cathi Williams (nee Brereton)
New Anglican Minister in Woughton Parish

I’m currently living and working in Middlesbrough, though my family are in the south, my parents just outside the M25 in Surrey, and my brother in London. I am married to Howard who is currently a full-time Dad and musician developing a business based from home writing and producing music. Our Daughter, Seren, was born in February.

My current parish is a small church, St Chad’s, in a socially mixed part of Middlesbrough. A small stream divides the parish, to one side is deprived with all the usual associated problems, the other side is better off.

Working in a small church has been a challenge, not least in finding enough people to get everything done. Nevertheless we have moved forward, becoming more outward looking as a church and developing a relationship with the Methodists who, while their building is being renovated, are currently worshipping with us on the first Sunday and in our church hall for the rest of the month. We have also enjoyed our collaboration on NE1 (the North East’s version of Soul in the City), Hope08 and the ongoing Genesis youth work project.

My curacy was in the same deanery working in a very tough urban parish in Middlesbrough. The parish has shrunk by about half through demolition since I started work there in 2000. After my training incumbent left, I covered their interregnum for a year before moving to my current post.

I have a particular interest in Fresh Expressions / Emerging Church. I have become more and more aware of the gap between church and secular culture and I am convinced we have a responsibility to express the gospel in a way and language that people have a chance of understanding. Associated with this interest is my creative approach to ministry, both in terms of doing new things and in the sense of using music and visuals in a contemporary way.

A quick word about my life pre-ordination: I worked for USPG (Anglicans in World Mission) for five years. My work came in two halves, firstly managing the short term programmes (overseas gap years and ‘Root Groups’ doing community work in UK deprived urban areas) and secondly looking after all people coming and going through USPG from the Anglican Province of Southern Africa. I travelled about once a year on USPG’s behalf to this part of the world.

Before this I had studied Geography in Durham, spent a gap year in India and studied Land Resource Management in Silsoe.

Howard, Seren and I are very much looking forward to our move to Milton Keynes and to getting to know you all. I am excited by the opportunities and challenges this role presents.

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