Revd Catherine Bowstead - Minister

Revd Catherine Bowstead

I’ve been minister at Wokingham since September 2015 and in 2019 became Superintendent of the Berkshire Surrey Borders Circuit.  Previously I have served churches in Epsom, Southend-on-Sea and most recently in Colchester.  I am pleased to be back in Berkshire to be near where I grew up in Slough.  I am married to Mike, and we have two adult children.  Before training for the ministry, I was a primary school teacher.

My passions in ministry are preaching, leading worship, and encouraging people to see God at work in their lives.  I enjoy enabling others to work in teams to achieve much more than we could as individuals.

In my spare time I enjoy walking, reading, tap dancing and going to concerts and gigs.

Updated July 2023

Annual Report (March 2024)

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to commend our Annual Report to you.  As ever, it reflects the wide range of activities that we are involved in and the large number of people who work together to enable our church to be the place “where Christian love meets Community need”.

As you read the report, please keep in mind our vision, and notice how much that vision is realised in the work that we do.  The last few years have seen a period of rapid change in the life of our church community, much of this has been as a result of the pandemic, but there have been other factors at work too.  A number of people have died or moved away but we had lots of people join our community too.  We’ve had to change the way we organise ourselves as there have been fewer people able to take on key tasks.  Change can sometimes be difficult to navigate, but change is a positive thing as it demonstrates that we are living and growing.

At our Annual Church Meeting on 14th April, we will be taking the opportunity to reflect on some of the changes that have taken place, how we’ve adapted to that change and doing things differently.  And we’ll be looking to the future, thinking about the sort of church we want to be and how we can enable that to happen.

We remain grateful to the large team of individuals who use their time and skills to enable our church community to flourish.  So, as you read our report and prepare for our ACM look out for signs of joy and hope.

With every blessing

Catherine Bowstead


Claire Knight - Church & Community Outreach Team Leader

CKI grew up as an only child just down the road in Bagshot.  Every Sunday I attended Sunday school at St. Ann's Church until I joined the Church Choir at the age of 9.  I went on to be part of the Youth Fellowship group held every Sunday night and that is where my Faith really grew.  I made many friends on my early journey with God and I am still in touch with many of them now even though we are scattered all over the world.

Having spent 18 years working for Barclays Bank including the post of Branch Manager at Wokingham branch, in 2007 I decided that my real passion was to work alongside young people.  I joined the then East Berkshire Education and Business Partnership where I developed, managed and delivered enterprise projects to Secondary and Primary schools across East Berkshire including some larger scale corporate inter school events.

In 2011 I came to work at Wokingham Methodist Church having played a significant voluntary role at St. Michael's Easthampstead in Bracknell.  Since then I have worked to develop and grow our Church family through various activities and groups.

I am married to Russell who I met at work in 1994 and have two beautiful teenage daughters, Eleanor and Lauren and a young dog named Bailey!  We are very happy living in Jennett's Park.

I am delighted to be undertaking the role of Church and Community Outreach Team Leader where I plan to enhance our work with all generations within our community drawing them closer to God through fellowship and ministry through the Coffee House, Bradbury Centre and beyond.

This is an exciting time for our town and indeed our Church as we are at the centre of the town's redevelopment and an increasing population as Wokingham grows, it is my wish to ensure we always offer a warm and friendly welcome to all we come into contact with and to embrace the changes that God is providing. 

Annual Report (March 2024)

Alzheimer’s Café

The Alzheimer’s café is thriving.  We have had a great number of newcomers and have enjoyed some fantastic sessions.

We enjoyed two trips to Alexandra Grange, one for Chocolate making and another for a singing afternoon.  Alexandra Grange also supplied some of the food we enjoyed at our Christmas Party (along with Parsons Grange) as well as cakes for our Coronation Party which we enjoyed with the support of the Town Council, Tesco’s and Coop.  I attend a quarterly breakfast meeting at Alexandra Grange to meet with other people from the community sector to support my work.

We have also been enjoying visits from a local company called ‘Creative Mojo’ who come in and support us all to create artwork which you can see displayed in the café.

We are looking forward to starting an inclusive and nostalgic worship in the Church from March which will coincide with the Alzheimer’s Café.  This is called ‘Wednesday Worship’ and is open to all.

Breakfast Church

We decided at the end of the year to reduce the number of times that Breakfast meet due to the erratic numbers.

We now meet on special occasions such as Lent and Good Friday.  We have made some beautiful crafts, enjoyed pancakes and bacon rolls and good fun and fellowship.

Little Fishes

Little Fishes remains busy and whilst some of the older children move up to start pre-school, numbers are maintained as we have welcomed a few families with babies.  We meet every week during term- time and provide a welcoming and relaxed environment for parents, carers and grandparents to meet and play.

Ukrainian Coffee Mornings

These ceased in the summer as there was less need for the families to meet as they became more settled in Wokingham.  This was a great piece of work supporting these families as they moved to the town to meet other families like them.

Open the Book

I am still supporting Open the Book in Westende School. The team goes into the school weekly but I attend fortnightly as we host the Alzheimer’s Café at a similar time.  I am no longer leading the team and have passed this role over to a member of the Baptist Church.  This year marks 10 years of Open the Book in Wokingham.


I again attended 3Generate at the end of September at the NEC.  I am part of the delivery team for the 4-7s area.  We had many more children than the previous year.  I was part of the planning team with Connexion and took responsibility for the Sensory Area.  I was also part of the registration team welcoming the 1600 young people when they arrived.

This year we are expecting another increase in numbers. I am working with Lorraine Darlow from the Methodist Learning Network to design the walkway into the venue as well as being part of the team delivering the programme.  This year’s event is 4th – 6th October.  We are hoping to take a group of young people from the circuit this year.

Other Work


I have been supporting Soulscape with their work in schools.  I am continuing to mentor young people at St. Crispin’s.  I have been delivering ‘Mind the Gap’ helping year 6 students as they transition to Secondary School, ‘REAL’ which is about relationships and ‘CARE’ which is about environmental issues.  I have many forthcoming dates in the diary to remain involved in their work in the coming months.

-Family Ministry Course

I co-wrote and edited a section of the new Family Ministry course with Alison Hulse from the Connexional team which is being written to be rolled out in the coming months as an online course.

-Health & Safety

I am responsible for Health and Safety within the Church and have been undertaking this with Nancy Bryson.  All incidents, policies and drills have been reviewed and filed.

My work would not be possible without the support of the staff team and fantastic volunteers who continue to support the activities that we provide.  My special thanks go to them.

Claire Knight