Welcome to Rev'd Canon Cheryl Collins
Joining St Gregory Church, Sudbury, Suffolk
I’ve been asked to write a short profile to introduce myself to you as I look forward to coming to St. Greg’s. I’ll get the question you all want to know but can only speculate on out of the way first- I’m 53. I was born, bred and educated in Cambridge and it was while at University that I began to wonder if God was calling me to ordained ministry. Of course in those days women couldn’t be ordained, even as Deacons, and I spent 5 ½ years working as a Chartered Accountant in London before being accepted for ministry training at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.
I have the privilege of being a woman of ’94, that is to say I become a priest the first year it was possible for women, and have now been ordained for 23 years. I served my curacy in suburban Sheffield and was then Anglican Chaplain to the University of Sheffield for 5 years. I came back to East Anglia (hills do get in the way of the sky!) in the year 2000 and spent 9 years as the priest for 3 villages on the edge of Cambridge, 6 also as Rural Dean of Bourn Deanery before moving to this diocese; firstly for a mission post at Red Lodge and latterly as Rector of the Suffolk Heights benefice and Acting Rural Dean of Clare.
I am single and share my life with my poodle, Hepzibah ("My delight is in her" Isa 62.4) and Princess Grace my cat. When not involved in ministry I am a passionate reader, love knitting and walking (I walked Hadrian’s Wall in 2014) and am an ace quiz team member (unless it’s the Sport round).
Although I only had a privilege of meeting Greg a few times, I know what a fine priest and a fine man he was and I am very aware of your loss. I look forward to getting to know you all, and hope when the date for my coming has been settled to hold Open House every Friday evening when I arrive so that I can get to know you over some Bring & Share (I’ll send some sign-up sheets ahead of me).
My first tasks among you will be to listen, to learn and to build relationships so that we can move forward together. In the meantime please pray with me for this new chapter in the life of St. Greg’s and in my own ministry.
"Faithful God, whose love is steadfast and mercies ever new; as we prepare for our journey together help us to remember the past with gratitude, to look to the future with hope and trust, and to be alert to your Call in the present, in the name of Christ our Lord". Amen
Wishing you every blessing,
Cheryl of Clare.