St Barnabas Team Vicar – Licensing
Revd Pat Jones finally joined the team on 14 June 7.30pm at St Barnabas Church. She was licensed by the Bishop of Reading Rt Revd Andrew Proud, installed by the Archdeacon of Berkshire Ven Norman Russell and welcomed by the mayor of Thatcham Cllr John Boyd. St Barnabas was packed with Pat’s friends and family as well as members of the Thatcham churches and representatives from across the town community.
All about Pat Jones in fourteen questions…
Where were you born?
I was born in Paddington, London – not quite within the sound of Bow Bells! Apparently ‘You can take the girl out of the city – but not the city out of the girl!’
What did you do for a career before you trained for ordination?
I worked within Social Services, initially in the Children’s Division and then in Education within Early years and Family Centres. I have a Social Work Qualification and most of my career has been within social care. I spent 11 years working within the field of Learning Disability and managed a project that linked adults with special needs to live independently in the community. More recently l was a Parent Support Advisor liaising with several Primary and Secondary schools offering support and facilitating parenting groups.
Tell us about your family
I am married to Peter and we have two sons; Christopher and Timothy, both 6ft 5 plus! Therefore ‘rugby players’ while at school, one as prop the other holding up the scrum! They no longer live at home since completing university. Timothy got married to Suzanne last year. At last l can have ‘girlie chats!’
How did God become part of your life?
It seems that God was always part of my life. No ‘Road to Damascus’ experience’, but a growing confidence that he ‘walked alongside’. I took myself off to church a the tender age of 9 , much to the amusement of my family. My parents had a wonderful Christian ethos, but were not church goers. I was Bible Monitor at Primary School and that involved carrying The Bible (like a new born baby) into the assembly hall each morning and placing it carefully into the ‘cradle’ of the lectern. All those initial experiences brought me to faith and eventual ordination.
Where did you train for ministry?
I trained at Oak Hill Theological College in Southgate. I was on the North Thames Ministerial Training Board Course. It was an enriching experience shared with a real ecumenical mix of students and diverse styles of worship. Initially my roots were more traditional, but I am more broader in my outlook as differing traditions in the Church of England have been inspiring.
What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
I enjoy walking and just ‘being’ – Listening to music especially classical and church music. I also enjoy Adele and Queen! I love catching up with family and friends. I enjoy cooking and eating out. My ideal evening would be spent at the theatre.
What makes you laugh?
I have a sense of humour – it’s a family trait I am pleased to say. My humour is spontaneous and generous -and definitely sparked by others. The ‘giggles’ have caught me out more than once. A church that laughs and prayers together – stays together!
Why do you feel called to Thatcham?
I believe God and Thatch am called me. I read this quirky advert in ‘The Church Times’ that mentioned; ‘challenge’ and ‘working outside of the box’ – I read about ‘ community based ministry’ and ‘building to serve community’. My ministry is ‘Where I am…’ and ‘Church?’ where God’s people are… I look forward to embracing the challenge ahead.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Thatcham?
Getting to know Saint Barnabas and being part of a church that challenges itself to link church and community. I met some enthusiastic people when I visited and came for interview. l hope we can encourage and enable each other to reach others and to build and serve the community.
Name something significant in your ministry so far By God’s grace l believe ‘I have made a difference’.
I have served in three parochial placements and have always attempted to preach the Gospel in a way that relates to our lives in society today.
Do you have a fear of anything?‘
Yes – ‘myself’ a little, I am my own worse critic!
If you could meet someone famous who would you like it to be and why?
The Queen! So incredibly devoted as a monarch and l think she has been a truly dedicated role model
What is your most favourite television programme?
I enjoy period dramas. I will confess that l enjoy nothing more than a ‘duvet moment’ and watching a 1930’s musical in black and white (obviously when all church duties are complete!)
Is their a book in the Bible you enjoy the most and why?
I most enjoy the Gospels – favouring the Gospel according to Saint John. In this Gospel our minds are fed and hearts nourished. In this book we get a glimpse of eternal truths and mysteries. The opening verses never cease to amaze me; ‘In the beginning was the Word…’