Priest Missioner: The Revd Kelvin Woolmer
The Priest Missioner for St Peters with St Cuthberts, Bedford is the Revd Kelvin Woolmer from the Chelmsford Diocese. Kelvin was more recently Team Vicar of St Lawrence Ninefields and St Thomas, Upshire in the Waltham Abbey Team Ministry. He has also been a Chaplain of London City Airport and previously Chaplain to the London Olympic construction site. Kelvin was Instituted as Priest Missioner on Monday, the 20th February 2017 by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith and Inducted and Installed by the Archdeacon of Bedford, the Venerable Paul Hughes. Kelvin’s wife Jean is a published author under her nom de plume as Jean Fullerton and is now working on some new historical novels.
Reader: Paul Fricker
Paul studied Theology at Durham University where he was a choral scholar in the cathedral choir. He taught at St Stephen’s College, Hong Kong for six years where he helped with chaplaincy work and was a housemaster of a boarding house. On returning to England, he taught at Norwich School and then became Head of Religious Studies and Lay Chaplain at Bedford High School until he retired. Paul was licensed as a Reader in May 2012.
Paul has been attending St Peter’s for over thirty years and enjoys being part of a friendly, supportive and vibrant community. One of his main roles as a Reader has been to encourage families to be fully involved in the church. With input from others, he has put together an All Age Service which will be held on the first Sunday of the month during the interregnum. He enjoys his pastoral role within the church. Paul has links with St James’ Church. Biddenham where he and his wife Kathy live and he takes an active part in the life of the community there. Paul is sometimes asked to preach at services in other churches or to speak to church groups.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys watching rugby and is a great fan of the Bedford Blues. He pursues his interest in music through singing, organ playing and as conductor of the Biddenham Handbell Ringers.
Paul is very concerned that Christians of all denominations work effectively together, that church services are adapted to attract younger families and that lay people play an important part in the ministry and pastoral work of the church.
Curate: Rachel Simons
Date appointed to St. Peter de Merton: 8th July 2018
Rachel was born and grew up in Clapham, attending local schools before studying a BA in Social Ethics with Community and Youth Studies at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster (part of the University of Cumbria). After finishing her degree, she spent a year in Glasgow with the Jesuit volunteers involved with victim support and a Credit union. Situated in a rough estate, this experience was ‘at times challenging, but eye-opening and interesting’.
She returned to Clapham and undertook a return to work training scheme in computing, designed over 6 weeks, but which actually extended over the course of a year! However, at the end of this, Rachel was taken on as an employee based in Bedford for the company that supplied the training, before moving to Luton and then coming back to Bedford
In 1999 Rachel moved on to join the Civil Service in Bedford as an administrative officer in the employment tribunal service until transferring to London in 2002 as an internal auditor. The transfer did not prove to be a wholly positive experience and she returned to employment tribunal work in London, where she stayed until the end of June 2018. She has just! started a new job with the Church of England’s Eastern Region Ministry course based in Cambridge, with whom she did her training.
Thoughts about training for ordination came around 2012, and even though suggestions had been made to her prior to making a move, they took a while to settle before she decided to stop procrastinating, and actually go ahead.
Rachel has worshipped at St. Thomas of Canterbury church in Clapham since childhood, although she started worship at the Methodist church. In her spare time, she enjoys line-dancing (and has done for over 20 years!), and has a regular date with the swimming pool which allows her to be at the Thursday morning Holy Communion.