Meet the new Team Rector 

simon wardRev Simon Ward

as published in Parish News, August 2017

I write having just come back from a final school assembly in one of the schools I have visited frequently during my time in the Parish of Earlham. I wasn’t expecting to find it a sad occasion as I sat there watching the reception class reciting a counting song and then launch into a chaotically cheerful rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t stop the feeling”. Then they got me up the front and sang “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” in honour of my impending move to Great Yarmouth. Class made gifts and cards followed, bringing a twinge of sadness that I’d probably not see most of these amazing kids and their fantastic, dedicated teachers again. Stiff upper lip prevailed, but I did feel sad. Changes are afoot

Life deals us many changes along the way. As I prepare to move to Great Yarmouth I am aware that it takes me back to a town I am familiar with having been born at the old Northgate Hospital and raised for the first 11 years of my life in Belton. After university I was a secondary teacher for a few years before following my call to ordination and training at Cuddesdon near Oxford. After a curacy in the Diocese of Guildford I moved to Suffolk and then became chaplain to Bishop Graham in 2009. At present I serve in Earlham which is a large and diverse parish with three churches

In order to get to the point of being prepared for this move I have been through countless journeys, changes, partings and goodbyes. Some of the friendships made are very much alive. Other figures from our past we wonder where they have gone to. Some of those episodes have been hard. I recall a real sense of upheaval when moving to Norwich at the age of 11. I still remember that nervous excitement of leaving home to going to university at Durham. Then leaving parishes in Aldershot and the Sole Bay Team Ministry in Suffolk were inevitably hard for me and for my family

However, amid these changes there is much to look forward to and be excited about with all of the opportunities changes brings. I immensely look forward to being with you all and beginning ministry in Great Yarmouth where there are so many good things already going on in the life of the church and the town. I look forward to being a part of these. There will be challenges too as myself and Georgette, Nathanael (14) and Benedict (11), 2 cats, a tortoise and an aquarium of fish move into the Rectory. We all look forward to getting to know you more in the months and years to come

Do remember us in your prayers in these days of farewell to Earlham as well as the excitement of new challenges in Great Yarmouth. See you soon!
With prayers and best wishes
Fr Simon


Pete Gillett East Gate Ministr (Guest) 14/08/2017 11:15
Welcome to the area Simon and family. We look forward to meeting you. East Gate Ministries Thrigby Mill