I was born in India in a Christian family and came to the UK at the age of 3. I was brought up in Handsworth Birmingham and moved to Oxford after I finished school. I worked 41 years in the Post Office counter. After a spiritual experience I had a calling to serve the Lord. After short theological courses I was licensed as a lay Reader in 1998 at St Mary’s, Headington. I started a distance learning Bth degree Course but in 2002 I was put forward for SAOMC training to become my Parish’s SSM. I was ordained in 2005 as Deacon and as a Non-stipendiary Priest in 2006. After my curacy for an agreed time I was ‘House for Duty’ in the Cowley Parish Ministry Team. With this experience I was able to apply for stipendiary incumbency posts. With passion for building and growing the Kingdom of God I was successful in being appointed Priest in Charge at St Paul’s Parish, Braintree. I was overjoyed. Being a missional Priest, I felt that God has called me here to share the love of God to all God’s people. Moreover, for us to discover together that Jesus did indeed come so we can live our lives to the full and contribute to become a flourishing community.
Assistant Curate - Rev Colin Fairweather
Many years ago, Colin gained a PhD in Elizabethan love poetry from the University of Cambridge. He went on to become an English teacher, working in a sixth form college in Leyton, in the East End of London for eleven years. During that time, he received a call to ordained ministry, and ended up studying for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He began working at St Paul's when he was ordained as a deacon in June 2016. A year later, he was ordained as a priest. Colin is not generally a very cool person, though he does ride a motorbike.
Reader - Susan Riches
As St Paul's Licensed Lay Minister, Susan has the bishop's authority to preach and lead worship at St Paul's. She also does the rotas for the church, as well as organising special services at Christmas and on Maundy Thursday.
Churchwarden - Philip Self
During the interregnum, Philip has ultimate responsibility for the leadership of the church, along with our other warden, Marina. As warden, Philip ensures the physical upkeep of the church building. He also oversees the administrative and financial running of the church, and makes sure that we are serving God well in the local community.
Churchwarden/Pastoral Assistant - Marina Parker
Marina shares the wardenship of St Paul's with Philip. As the Pastoral Assistant, she also heads up the pastoral care team in the church, as well as leading special pastorally-focused morning prayers on a Tuesday. Marina is a mother and a grandmother, and her interests include reading and playing darts.
Evangelism Enabler - Gordon Currie
It is Gordon's job to ensure that the good news is proclaimed loudly and clearly throughout the parish and beyond. He has run sessions on testimony-telling before, and also been involved in Alpha courses. He is a regular contributor to the 'True Direction' slot, the all-age sermon that we have on a Sunday morning every other week.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is the executive committee of the parish of St Paul's. It consists of clergy and the churchwardens of the parish, together with representatives of the laity. Legally, the council is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the maintenance of its assets, such as the church building, and for promoting the mission of the church.
Following the Annual Meeting of Parishioners and Annual Parochial Church Meeting held on Wednesday 24th April, the PCC members are as follows.
Ex officio: Rev Colin Fairweather (Assistant Curate), Susan Riches
Churchwardens: Philip Self (Lay Chair), Marina Parker
Lay members of Deanery Synod: Susan Riches, Gordon Currie
Lay members of the PCC: Mouttou Coumarane, Clare Craig, Julie Hawtin (Secretary and Electoral Roll Officer), Takunda Nerutanga (Treasurer), Ian Parker (Health and Safety Representative), Jenny Williamson (Assistant Churchwarden, Gift Aid and Free Will Giving Offier)
Appointments in brackets were agreed at the PCC meeting following the APCM. Pam Self, though not a member of the PCC, continues her appointment as the Parish Safeguarding Officer.