How this minister went from working at Center Parcs to teaching to joining the church

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:17 09 October 2020

The Revd Laura Pope and The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Revd Laura Pope and The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Two new ministers in a Bury St Edmunds parish will help bring hope to communities during these uncertain times.

The Revd Andy WilliamsThe Revd Andy Williams

The Reverend Laura Pope and The Reverend Andy Williams are “delighted” to have joined the team at St Mary’s and St Peter’s Churches in Bury St Edmunds.

St Peter’s is in Hospital Road and St Mary’s - one of the largest parish churches in England - is on the corner of Honey Hill.

Revd Pope has been Curate in the parish since the end of June and on September 1 Revd Williams was licensed as the Associate Minister with responsibility for St Peter’s. The ordination services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral had been delayed since June due to coronavirus restrictions.

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Revd Williams moves with his family to Bury from Woodbridge where he has been the Youth Pastor at St John’s Church for 16 years.

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He said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the people of St Peter’s, and St Mary’s, as Associate Minister. Michele, my wife, and I are really excited to be moving to Bury. There will be challenges ahead as we work out the best way forward for discipleship and ministry during these uncertain times but I am sure we will be able to do this together.”

Revd Pope moves back to Bury from Cambridge where she completed her training at Westcott House theological college.

She previously worked at Center Parcs at Elveden Forest and lived in Bury before completing a PGCE, after which she taught secondary religious studies in Bishop’s Stortford.

She said: “It is great to be back in Bury St Edmunds. The town is such a beautiful, welcoming place and it is wonderful to be serving the parish of St Mary’s and St Peter’s. I am really looking forward to meeting the parishioners and getting involved in the many parish activities.”

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They will be working with the vicar, The Reverend Simon Harvey.

Revd Harvey said: “This is a really exciting time for us. Strengthening our team with these exceptional appointments means that we can do more to reach the people of Bury with the message of God’s love.

“Coronavirus means that it’s going to be a long time before things get back to normal but Andy and Laura will be hard at work making sure we do all we can to ensure that our churches are communities of hope.”

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