Find out more about our assistant curates who joined our team in July 2017.
Rachel Prior will be ministering within the parish for her entire curacy, and John Saxon will, after the first year or so, be increasingly in Debden and Wimbish.
‘I’m Rachel and I’m so glad to be the new curate at St Mary’s. I grew up in the Dengie area of Essex, in Tillingham and Southminster, where some of my family still live. I have three siblings – Hannah, William and Ruthie – who have now fledged the nest too.
I became a Christian when I was fifteen, after seeing how Christ’s love transformed our family, and started attending church. Not long afterwards I sensed a call to the ordained ministry, and have been trying to discern what this means ever since! I studied Theology at University, where I met Sam, who definitely was not studying Theology, and we became good friends.
After graduating, I worked for a church and community centre in South London as their Pastoral Assistant where I learned a lot about God’s grace. In my time there I also worked as their Volunteer Co-ordinator and had the privilege of serving as Honorary Chaplain at the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital.
The last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind as Sam has become a Christian, we have got married, and have spent two years in Bristol where I have been training at Trinity College. We are looking forward to starting new adventures here as Sam is working for the charity Alpha and I am due to be ordained in September.
Thank you so much for your warm welcome so far! Please pray for us as we settle in and prepare for my ordination on the 30th September 2017, at 2 p.m. in Chelmsford Cathedral, to which you are all very welcome. I look forward to getting to know you all.’
All the best,
01799 500 047
Rachel and Sam live in the curate’s house in De Vigier Avenue in Saffron Walden
Hello, I am John. Originally, I am from North London, but have lived in Colchester for over 30 years. I met my wife, Dawn, at St John’s Church, Colchester, where we have worshipped and served until our moving here. I came to faith as a teenager through attending church as a scout and through reading the bible given to me by the Gideon organisation.
Dawn and I have four grown up children, although two still live at our family home back in Colchester! I have been involved in different areas of ministry at St John’s, including home group leadership, heading up the children’s groups and as project chairman for a new Community Centre.
I have also served as Church Warden, including throughout two interregnums, and this particularly has been part of my call to ordination, along with completing the course in Christian studies.
In my working life, I have been a paramedic and latterly a teacher in Special Needs education. I really enjoyed my ordination training at Ridley Hall in Cambridge and realise I have much still to learn.
We have settled well into the rectory at Debden and have been given a very warm welcome by the villagers and church members of Debden and Wimbish, and of course at St Mary’s too. I believe building an inclusive community where Christians are empowered to live out a Christ centred life of love, reaching out in grace to others, will be an important part of my ministry.
I enjoy cooking and walking our dog and I like to jog early in the morning to try and keep fit and have time to reflect. Dawn and I are enjoying getting to know you and serving among you.
Please pray for us as Dawn and I adjust to new rhythms of life and prepare for my ordination on the 30 September 2017, at 2p.m. in Chelmsford Cathedral. Of course, you are all very welcome to attend this special service and it would be lovely to see you there.
John and Dawn live in the Rectory in Debden.