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 2018)
I am pleased to be able to commend to you our Annual Report [most of which appears in the various pages of this website] as it reflects the amazing variety of the activities of our Church community.
We've had sadness during the year as a number of our church members have died. Each of their funeral services was unique celebration of a life lived well and reflected their individual personalities. But we've also shared joy together with the various events to celebrate our 200th Anniversary, the baptisms of Beatrice Goddard and Arthur Fitness and the day when we received eleven people into church membership as particular highlights.
Our Coffee House continues to offer a warm welcome each morning and the lunches each Thursday and Friday are proving very popular. We are grateful to Tina Randall, Claire Knight and the willing team of volunteers who run our café in such a professional and friendly way.
We offer a very significant service to the community in our Alzheimer's Café and carers group which provides a stimulating and enjoyable afternoon enabling people living with Alzheimer's and their carers to feel welcomed, cared for and supported. At the other end of the age spectrum, our Parent and Toddler group provides an equally stimulating and enjoyable environment each Thursday morning.
This report details the many other activities that go on within our church community and reminds us that are blessed with a huge number of talented and committed people who contribute so much to the life of the church community. I'm both impressed and grateful that so many people give so much of their time and energy to the life of our church in so many different ways. It's important that we keep working together as a team to encourage and support one another as we work for God's Kingdom.
I'm convinced that the most important thing that we do as a church is our worship of God, and the motivation for every other activity of our church community should emerge from this. That's why I think it's so important that our worship is the best that it can be and that we are all work hard in maintaining our relationship with God. We are fortunate to have a team of talented organists, an enthusiastic choir, Worship Leaders and Local Preachers to enhance our worship.
We are not perfect, there are many ways in which we could improve, but I hope that we will continue to work together in community to fulfil our vision as a church community and be a place "where Christian love meets Community need".