Revd. Cheryl Collins
Priest in Charge
In July Tom Mumford will be joining the team at St Gregory's Church as our curate.
Tom has writen the following to introduce himself to everybody.
It was a real Christmas present for me to meet some of you back in December when I was introduced at St Gregory’s. Can I just say thank you for such a warm and generous welcome – it really did mean a lot to me! I hope you all went on to have a wonderful Christmas and New Year…oh how long ago that seems now!
For those of you I didn’t get to chat to, or for those of you who weren’t there…and just for the plain curious, let me tell you a bit about myself: My name is Tom, I am 28 and currently in my third year of ordination training at Westcott House in Cambridge. I was born on the south coast, near Horsham in West Sussex, and was brought up there until I was about 10. My dad, being a police officer at the time, decided to transfer police force and that brought my mum, little sister and me to the market town of Horncastle in Lincolnshire. I lived there for a further 8 years, doing GCSEs at secondary school, a couple of paper rounds and a stint stacking shelves at Tesco, before I left to join the RAF. Sadly, however, my time in recruit training was cut short by injury and I decided to leave.
This marked the beginning of a stint of bad luck. On my return home I got a job photocopying at a local law firm while I applied to join the Metropolitan Police. I was offered a place, but only for the repercussions of the financial crisis to result in it not actually existing. I decided instead to join Lincolnshire Police as a Special Constable and did this for two years or so while continuing to work at the law firm. However, an interest in politics sprouted which led me to become a local councillor at 21 (quite surreal and completely unexpected!), and then attempt to go to university at 22 to explore it further. The problem was, though, I didn’t have the qualifications. For the next year I gave up my full time job and did an adult learning course at the local college. I worked in a hotel to help fund it. By the end of the year I was offered a place at the University of York to study politics - the first of my family to go.
You may have noticed that the church or faith has yet to appear in this journey…well, that’s because it wasn’t until a chance conversation and experience at York Minster, while at university, that it ever did. During my time in York, and particularly at the Minster, my Christian faith and vocation to ordained ministry emerged and developed…it’s been quite a ride since. I spent a year ministering full time in a church in London, was recommended at my BAP and made it to Westcott.
Now, five and a bit years on, I sit here with great excitement contemplating serving your parish as a curate. I really can’t wait! In my spare time I love football and am a Newcastle Utd fan for my sins. I am also a big fan of pubs, the cinema, reading and walking (the Lake District is a favourite escape!). I also have a keen interest in current affairs, so with that and religion I can’t be much fun at a dinner party…!!
My real passions for ministry include, unsurprisingly, social justice, but also prayer and spirituality. I think it is so important for us as Christians to deepen our lives of prayer and our relationship with God, and I hope to explore this and many other things with you in the coming years. I really can’t wait to join you, but until then, please do pray for me ahead of ordination. See you all in June!
(Reader and vice chair)
Safe Guarding Officer
Deanery Synod Rep
Deanery Synod Rep
Lay Elders at St Gregory's Church