It’s official! Matthew is vicar in Gorleston at last 

17th October 2019
Tony Mallion reports

Matthew Price and family

The Bishop of Thetford with Matthew Price and his wife Anna and children Barnabas, Charlotte and Rosanna. photo courtesy of Tony Mallion

Rev Matthew Price, a former London solicitor whose work for city businesses involved deals worth over a million pounds, has officially become the new vicar of St Mary Magdalene in Gorleston. The forty one year old has already led the church for almost two years completing his training there with the title of Curate in Charge. “He’s going to become a real vicar at last!” said the Rural Dean, John Kinchin-Smith, at the start of a service which saw the church packed


The Bishop of Thetford lays hands on Matthew Price during the Induction as Vicar of St Mary Magdelene. photo courtesy of Tony Mallion


The Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Rev Alan Winton, conducted the institution explaining how Matthew had come to the area as a curate at Bradwell before moving to Gorleston after the retirement of the previous vicar Linda Ricketts. He said it was an unusual journey “but the fact that we had to make up the title of Curate in Charge was the right one”.  He praised the work that Matthew and his family, wife Anna, children Barnabas (12), Charlotte (9) and Rosanna (8) had done at the church and in the wider community.  “It’s the family that has made the impact” he said.  He also thanked the wardens and others who had supported Matthew and the Rev Damon Rogers of St Andrew’s, Lowestoft who has acted as his mentor
Preaching on Matthew chapter nine where Jesus speaks of ‘the fields ready to harvest’, the Bishop said churches should follow Jesus’ example of being out and about.  “We’ve too often stayed in our churches hoping that people will come. Under Linda (Ricketts), this pattern began to be challenged and now Matthew has built on this”.  But he warned Matthew couldn’t do it all on his own: “You need to build up and equip the people of God to develop their gifts. Each of us has a role to play as labourers to bring in God’s harvest”


Archdeacon Stephen Betts formally welcomes Matthew Price through the church door as part of the Institution. photo courtesy of Tony Mallion

The Archdeacon of Norwich, the Venerable Stephen Betts, led Matthew through the induction which included the traditional knocking on the church door, ringing a bell and vowing to follow all the responsibilities of a vicar.  He was welcomed by other clergy and ministers as well as local councillors and head teachers.  The church takes an active role in the Food Bank and runs a weekly drop in, the Bridge, which provides a full hot meal


 The Bridge Choir singing ‘Nobody’. photo courtesy of Tony Mallion

The Bridge Choir conducted by Hazel Thackray took part in the service singing a moving version of the Casting Crowns’ ‘Nobody’.  The church choir performed an eighth century hymn ‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’
Matthew Price grew up in East Anglia, mainly in Cambridgeshire going on to study law at Chester and Cambridge. At university he became a Christian through the work of the Christian Union.  After qualifying as a solicitor he specialised in Intellectual Property Law for a major London firm which led to four years of working on top level deals
In 2006 he and his wife joined the Baptist Missionary Society and moved to Kampala, Uganda with their three month old son developing a legal aid ministry working in prisons for three years.  He returned to the UK as International Director for the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship. They lived in Peterborough and were actively involved in an Anglican church planted in a large and growing estate.  It was there he felt called to full time ministry and he trained in Oxford working in a church in an area of the city similar to the Magdalen Estate in Gorleston.  The family moved to Bradwell in 2016 where he became assistant curate before transferring to St Mary Magdalene at the start of 2017
Since his arrival, congregations have grown, a thriving youth club and other youth work has been established, a Christmas and summer fun day event have been organised on the adjoining green which attracted huge crowds, and his church was visited last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
At the end of the service, the church’s electronic bells rang out to welcome the new Vicar and refreshments organised by Gillian and Brian Philpot were served in the church hall where a celebration cake was cut