Hello, my name is Jonathan Pearce and I have been a Vicar here for 9 years. We moved from High Beach and Upshire on the other side of Essex where I was a Team Vicar in the Waltham Abbey Benefice.

     I grew up in Castle Bromwich, a village to the North east of Birmingham. I became a Christian when I was 17 and, having joined the youth group in my church, I went to CYFA, (Church Youth Fellowship Association) house parties where I met Nina, a teacher. We continued to run the youth group at St. Clement’s Church in Castle Bromwich until I went to be trained to be a Vicar at St. John’s College in Nottingham.

     I was ordained in 1985 by the Bishop of Oxford and spent 4 years as a Curate in Chesham. Our first child Matthew was born during my last year at College, followed by Naomi 21 months later. In 1989 I then became a priest in charge at St. Luke’s Church in Newport Pagnell, famous for producing Aston Martin cars, and also Lathbury, a small village outside Newport Pagnell. Unfortunately, after having Matthew and Naomi, our daughter Katie was born and died after a few hours, due to a genetic problem. At this time we learned that there was 1 in 4 chance of all of our children having the same condition, but we were relieved that Matthew and Naomi had been OK.  Sadly, Luke was born 13 months after Katie, and died of the same condition just after he was christened in the hospital. However, that wasn't the end of the story, as Bekki was born in 1991 healthy and destined to make us grandparents to Amelia Rose. Matthew has also made us grandparents to Zack and Sebastian in the meantime.

     For three decades I have enjoyed birdwatching, and wildlife watching generally, spending many days off and holidays seeking out birds to add to my ever growing list. I have visited Israel, China, Canada and the USA, several southern African countries, and many European countries to see the many amazing bird and wildlife species which are there, and in some cases, for other reasons as well. Whilst in Israel, I found many birds which are mentioned in the Bible. Their names in the original Biblical languages are sometimes onomatopoeic, reflecting their call or song, as does “Cuckoo,” for example, in English.

     I now spend 1½  hours a week helping at the Nursery Amelia goes to. I also enjoy running and have completed several half marathons in Southend, and this year in Colchester with my daughter Naomi.

Jonathan

27th April 2016