Revd Catherine Bowstead


Revd Catherine Bowstead joined us as minister in September 2015.  She introduces herself:

We have come to Wokingham after 11 very happy years in Colchester where I've had pastoral charge of 3 busy churches – one in the town centre and two congregations to the north of the town; one a young church plant and the other a more established congregation.  Colchester has changed a lot in those 11 years as the rapid housing development has made it the fastest growing town in the UK.  Before that we had 7 years in Southend-on-Sea and my first appointment was in Epsom.  Before entering the Methodist Ministry I was a primary school teacher.

I'm married to Mike who works as a Tax Inspector – he'll be working at HMRC in Reading.  He is a Local Preacher and enjoys singing.  We have two young adult children; James has just graduated from university and will be spending the next year as Resident Organist at Pangbourne College whilst on Sundays he'll be Organ Scholar at All Saints Church in Fulham.  Hannah is reading for a degree in Classics at Cambridge and is about to start her second year.  She enjoys singing and a variety of crafts.

My particular joys in ministry are preaching and leading worship.  I love being with people and enabling them to find and use their gifts, and I enjoy working with children and families.  In my spare time I enjoy walking, reading and music.

I'm very much looking forward to getting to know you over the coming months, and keenly anticipating working alongside you for God's Kingdom.  I hope and pray that I shall be able to use my gifts and insights to further God's work in this place.  Please be patient as I try to learn your names, learn my way around the place and discover about our church family here in Wokingham.

Annual Report (February 2019)

I am delighted to be able to commend to you our Annual Report [most of which appears in the various pages of this website], as ever, it reflects the wide range of activities that we are engaged in as the Christian Community of Faith here in this place and the many opportunities we have for sharing God's love.

It is now just over a year since we held our Day of Engagement and so it's a good opportunity to reflect on the progress that we have made.  You will recall that when we reflected on the suggestions from that day, we came up with five major areas on which we believe God is calling us to focus our time and energy:

  • Developing the meeting place Café in preparation for Peach Place opening.  Redecoration work took place in the re-branded Café Mosaic over the summer and the café team continue to work hard to provide a welcome to our customers.  We are looking forward to the opening of Peach Place and I am very excited about the mission opportunities that this will give us.
  • Encouraging people to use their time and talents in the life of the church.  It's been good to see several key jobs filled and we remain grateful for all those who give of their time to enable our church to run smoothly.
  • Having a shared vision, a group have been working hard on this and will be bringing their insights and suggestions to the Church Council.
  • Working towards an intergenerational church.  Claire has recently been on a course at Cliff College which will enable us to make big progress in this aim.  She will be sharing some of her new-found knowledge at the Annual Church Meeting, and we will be working with Claire to help make this vision a reality.
  • Becoming more confident in sharing our faith with others.  The Monday Housegroup is using the Methodist resource "Talking of God Together" and we plan to use this material more widely later in the year.  I hope that this will enable us to talking about our faith easily and naturally with others and that we will more readily recognise when we have opportunities to do this.

Of course, there have been many other things going on in the life of the church which have sometimes prevented us from making as rapid progress in these area as we would like.  But we will not lose sight of them and I hope that our day of celebration when we unveil our Fish Mosaic Sculpture will give us the opportunity to celebrate how far we have come.

Catherine Bowstead