I grew up in Birmingham and at eighteen years old I joined the Royal Air Force as a Musician (Trumpet) and was posted to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. I clearly heard my calling to the when I was 20yrs old, but didn’t follow it as I was enjoying life in the RAF. To try and distract myself from my calling I studied for a degree in History and Religious Studies alongside working full time. This did not distract me for too long and although I was enjoying travelling the world, gaining my degree and various musical performance diplomas, being the coxswain for the RAF, spending time serving in Cyprus helping our troops readjust to life as they came home from Afghanistan and generally life as an airwoman, my calling only became stronger.
In 2013, after thirteen years of service, I decided to follow God’s call and left the RAF to go to the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield for my formation training. Whilst here, the college instilled in me a rootedness in prayer which was further nurtured in my curacy in the United Benefice of Brigg, Wrawby, Cadney-cum-Howsham, with Bonby and Worlaby in the Diocese of Lincoln. It is my true belief that priesthood is underpinned by prayer for it is through prayer that we keep ourselves open to hear God, enabling us to discern His will for our lives, our churches and our communities.
During my curacy I was blessed with a wonderful Training Incumbent who has enabled me to experience all that rural multi-benefice ministry has to offer. For me, one of the greatest privileges of parish life is being with people, walking alongside them as they journey through life, especially during main life events including Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals.
I have trained as a Spiritual Director and will be joining the Diocese of Salisbury team of Spiritual Accompaniers in order to walk alongside others as we discern how God is working in their whole life. For more information, take a look at the Diocesan website https://www.salisbury.anglican.org/ministry/spiritual-accompaniment
Whilst living and serving my curacy in Lincolnshire, I was very much involved with Cursillo becoming a Spiritual Advisor for the 2018 Cursillo Weekend. This is a wonderful event where experienced members of Cursillo who have a passion for mission help others to gain the tools they need, as an adult, to renew their faith and live a Christian life. A wonderful movement which I am privileged to be a part of and of which I feel all the members are like an extended family.
When not ‘on duty’, so to speak, I enjoy watching and playing cricket, keeping myself fit, running, partaking in mud obstacle races, and generally being outside in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire. We live in a beautiful world that God created for us all to enjoy, and I very much try to be ‘out and about’ as much as possible.
The Diocese of Salisbury is a big move from the Diocese of Lincoln, yet I am certain that God has called me here, being rather direct and obvious throughout my discerning being the Rector of the Upper Wylye Valley Team. I fully trust God, knowing that He will provide me with all I need to serve His beloved children in this area, which and I am already experiencing in all the support and encouragement I am receiving from yourselves and the Diocese of Salisbury.
Please do look out for me and please do not hesitate to stop me for a chat if you see me out and about, or maybe drop me an email or give me a ring so that we can get to know one another and build lasting friendships in Christ.
I was born and grew up on the edge of Southampton, where I lived until the summer of 2016 when I moved to the Upper Wylye Valley. I have one twin brother, two nieces and one great niece aged 11. My brother and I were born on our Mother’s birthday and my great niece was born on the same day. So, until December 2015 when my Mother died all four of us shared a birthday. My father, Les, has come to live with me because he had a spell in hospital and couldn’t return home. I have a large extended family of many cousins, so you will understand why I was a little home sick when I moved away from my hometown to Wiltshire so late in life. I enjoy walking holidays, the theatre and painting in many different mediums, although my favourite is pastels. Previously I would have added gardening to my list of hobbies but having worked hard in the large Vicarage garden I now see gardening as a chore and long for a retirement flat with not even a window box to care for!
I have worked in the Public Service all my working life, latterly for Test Valley Borough Council in Andover. I have been House for Duty Team Vicar in the Upper Wylye Valley Team since September 2016 having been ordained in Winchester Cathedral in 2011. I trained on the 3-year part time theology and ministry course at Sarum College in Salisbury Close, so I am no stranger to the Salisbury Diocese. I was engaged to work on Sundays plus two days in the week. Please don’t let that put you off phoning me if you are in need, because my ministry has no limits and you can always leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I return home 24/7.
When I retired from the Borough Council in early 2018, I began occasional work with the Chaplaincy Team at Salisbury Hospital. I am now in a permanent part time post working all day Thursday and Friday morning with one night a week on call. Perhaps it isn’t appropriate to say I enjoy the work because it can be harrowing and very sad at times, but it does make me feel fulfilled.
Although I live in Codford and have pastoral responsibility for the people of Codford I work across the whole Team wherever I am needed. I have always worshipped and ministered as lay and ordained in a variety of urban and rural contexts, across the benefice and love being part of many churches rather than just one. I work alongside the Team Rector, Trudy Hobson and head up the families work with a faithful team of volunteers working hard to engage with families across the Upper Wylye Valley Team. If you ask me what I enjoy most about my ministry I would say leading Services and pastoral work. During the vacancy of the post of Rector I had the privilege of leading the Ministry Team. I enjoy working as a Team with the other clergy and Licensed Lay Minister. We are so lucky to have a dedicated and hardworking Ministry Team to lead us.
My experiences of childhood, my working life and my faith have shaped my values and view of the world. I have been actively involved in the life of the Church since the age of 18. I have always felt the power of the Holy Spirit in my life since primary school although at the time wouldn’t have understood or articulated what that meant. I am convinced that God has called me to this place and I love being in the Lords service. I am not sure I understood why at the time but at the age of 15 I was given the annual prize cup for “Being Willing to Serve”. God must have known what was coming!
My faith grew and developed through regular worship and membership of a weekly house group. The experience of regularly engaging with the bible and being in the company of mature Christians helped me to grow in faith and deepen my own spiritual life. I am grateful to many faithful friends who supported me and prayed for me over the years on my journey of faith, sadly many are no longer alive to see the fruits of their prayers but as my journey of faith continues for a life time I know that in the Upper Wylye there will be many who will continue their work as we support and encourage each other over the coming years. I hope you will allow me to come alongside you so we can grow together. If you would like to contact me, my contact details are as follows:
Tel 01985 850941 email: [email protected]
I am a retired priest living in Corton and sharing in the ministry of the Team. In my working life I practised and taught health services management both in the NHS and overseas. Latterly I served as a priest in the Church of Pakistan, pastoring a congregation in Lahore and supported by Church Mission Society (CMS).
I keep these interests by serving as a hospital governor in Bath, and a trustee both of CMS, and, more locally of the Hospital of St John at Heytesbury; I am also the ex-officio school governor for Sutton Veny School. I am a passionate supporter of our diocesan link with South Sudan, and serve on the Diocesan Sudans committee, with responsibility for deanery links.
Within the Team I have a special interest in liturgy, and also undertake regular home visiting.
I trained as a Reader in Durham more than 30 years ago, and took Evensong regularly for a church in a farming community, and well as leading prayers in Durham Cathedral. I retired from organ building to my mother-in-law’s house in Heytesbury in 2010, whilst studying for an MA in Theology and Ministry.
I value being a non-clergy member of the team in the UWVT and attendance at regular staff meetings. I enjoy preaching, and taking services, most often Matins and Evensong, but also funerals and the crib service in Heytesbury.
I train the church choir (assisted and supported by Mark Venning, whose contribution to the choir’s success should not be under-rated). The annual ‘Service of Light’ at Advent is a ‘choir-special’ which has been my responsibility since 2011.
I compile the monthly hymn lists, welcoming suggestions from the clergy and others. I devised special services to mark the centenaries of the King James Bible in Sutton Veny in 2011 and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in Sherrington in 2012.
Other special services I have helped create include the celebration of Peter and Paul for Heytesbury’s Patronal Festival in 2014, and a service with readings and music for the 150th anniversary of the restoration of Heytesbury church. The choir’s performance of ‘The Hallelujah Chorus’ was magnificent.
It is with great joy that we welcome to the team Jonathan Hiscox, who was licensed to the UWVT by the Bishop of Ramsbury, Rt Revd Dr Andrew Rumsey on 7th March 2021. Jonathan brings with him a huge amount of experience, knowledge and a passion for rural ministry and will be a wonderful addition to our team. Below Jonathan introduces himself in his own words....
My sense of a calling to ministry goes back a very long way…it was after a service in the village Church in Somerset where we lived when, aged 6 years, I said to my parents “I want to be a part-time Vicar.”
As you can imagine, they were somewhat ‘intrigued’ by this and as the years went on, so my sense of calling grew until O Level options were being chosen with thoughts of ordination in mind. It must have been quite a shock for the teachers at Whitstone School, Shepton Mallet, to hear this though it was suggested that, instead of A levels, I took a Business Studies Diploma (at Strode College, Street) which was a real blessing and has stood me in good stead over the years as I learned about accounting, computers, economics and typing among so many other subjects during this time.
Further education included reading theology at University College, Cardiff and, after working for a Church in Bedford and a night shelter in Leeds, I undertook my studies for ordination at Queen’s College, Birmingham. This was an especial blessing as, being the child of a Methodist father and Anglican mother (which gave me a very practical insight into grass-roots ecumenism) as I joined with members of the Methodist and United Reformed Church as well as Church of England colleagues to train for ministry whilst learning more about each other’s denominations as well as our own.
However, the countryside has always been close to my heart and, having lived in a group of 3 country parishes on the quarrying side of the Mendip hills, I was pleased to return to Somerset for my Curacy and then as a Team Vicar with responsibility for 7 villages with 2 schools and 2 nursing homes.
I also enjoyed spending time with the local farming community as rural affairs has always been one of my interests – however it has been many years since I milked a cow by machine or by hand…
After 8 years as Team Vicar, during which time I invited my parents to live with me (though my Dad sadly died in 2000, my Mum still lives with me), I moved to become a ‘country Rector’ in this Diocese with responsibility for 3 schools and 2 units of sheltered accommodation in addition to the parishes.
One of the privileges I was blessed with during this time was to become chaplain to the local branch of the Royal British Legion and I still retain my membership.
On leaving this post due to problems with stress, I spent a year in Chippenham before moving to Warminster to start work as a care assistant at Sutton Veny House Nursing Home (though I am now a member of the bank staff), and a house move into this Upper Wylye Team gave me the privilege of joining with many of the congregations in Sunday worship and weekday meetings.
In terms of personal spirituality, I find myself enjoying elements of Franciscan and Ignatian Spirituality (particularly the importance placed on serving others, reverence for creation and am in the early stages of exploring the use of imagination in prayer).
Over the years that I have lived here I have prayerfully sought God’s Will concerning a return to a form of ministry which has culminated in my licensing, by the Bishop of Ramsbury, as an Associate Priest in the Upper Wylye Valley Team – something which is, for me, an honour, privilege and great joy.
As you can guess from all this, I look forward to coming alongside you in our journey of faith.
If you would like to contact me, my details are:
Tel: 01985 851250 email: [email protected]