In more detail:
Peter Begley - The Vicar
I have been involved with the church since 1984 in various lay roles, leading group discussion, leading youth work, those kind of things, but on the road to ordination since the mid 90’s.
On completion of my degree in theology I was ordained in 2010, so relatively new in terms of priestly ministry, but with many years of lay involvement.
I still continued in business until 2013, when I resigned my secular employment to take up a full time post in a church in Benfleet, Essex
Norman Pratt - Reader
My wife Jenny and I have been coming to St Leonard’s church since we were married and came to live in Southminster in 1977.
I have been a Reader at St Leonard’s Church since 1994.
My main role has been teaching and preaching, and especially leading some of the Morning Worship and All-age Worship services, and occasionally helping to lead the first half of Holy Communion services.
Another role is looking after this website.
Jacky Griffiths - Evangelism Enabler
I have been a member of St Leonard’s Church for 40 years and have been training for a couple of years to be an Evangelism Enabler. I was given a Certificate signed by the Bishop of Chelmsford in July, along with other trainees in different Deaneries. I am enjoying encouraging people to consider evangelism as an everyday natural occurrence and to share the Good News of Jesus in a variety of ways. I have accompanied the Vicar on Baptism and Thanksgiving preparation times prior to the actual Services and continued to do this during the Interregnum.
These occasions are ideal to explore sharing my faith and I hope to encourage others to join me. Also when we have weddings and funerals in the church I assist the Clergy with arrangements so they are able to concentrate on the important ministry they perform, following up local contacts, with others, where possible.
Linda Payne - Pastoral Assistant
I have been married to Harry for fifty years and we have lived in Southminster for over forty years. We have attended St Leonard’s Church for more than 28years. We both attended a Christian Studies Course some years ago and from that I decided to take my learning further. A Pastoral Assistant's Course was just starting and I thought that would possibly suit me better than reader or evangelist training. I qualified to call myself a Pastoral Assistant and began to work with Rev’d Gordon on a visitor basis, to various residential homes for elderly people in Southminster, taking communion, a service, or just visiting.
Brenda Sheppard - Pastoral Assistant
I have lived in Southminster most of my life and have worshipped at St Leonard’s Church for quite a number of years.
I trained and qualified as a Pastoral Assistant in 2008 and assist our Vicar where and when I can.
Since my retirement I have been able to be more involved in village life in a voluntary capacity
My husband Ken and I moved to Southminster when we married in 1965. Commuting to Basildon as teachers meant that becoming part of the community was a slow process – until 1970 when our first son was born. That was when we became regular worshippers at St Leonard’s. Thanks to a personal experience at a Home Group in 1971 I became an active follower of Jesus rather than just a churchgoer.
Since then I have been a regular PCC member, magazine editor, pianist in the Music Group, Deanery Synod Secretary, joint Home Group leader and general helper in all the local Church activities. I completed the Chelmsford Course in Christian Studies but decided not to take training any further except for personal study and involvement in other Church courses. My particular recent role has been in community liaison, which means that I have links with local secular organisations and charities. This enables me to express my faith as I work alongside people who are also on a spiritual journey whether or not they recognise Jesus – yet.
My husband became a Reader in 1982 and was ordained (non stipendiary) in 1988. His ministry has been in several parishes of this deanery but he has also been willing to conduct services at St Leonard’s when asked (and when his diary isn’t already full).