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Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Ti Chase

Ti Chase

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: Great Clacton St John the Baptist

Although I grew up in a Christian home and always believed that God was real, it was only in university that I realised that faith was more than just belief and involved actively handing my life over to Christ. From that time I have tried to devote my life to serving the Lord, although I have probably failed at this more often than I have succeeded. However, by his grace the Lord has slowly drawn me closer and closer to him and deeper and deeper into ministry.

For decades I was determined not to pursue ordained ministry, since I believe that every Christian - no matter one’s vocation - is meant to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.

But I found myself drawn more and more to volunteer work in my local church and about ten years ago, when it was time for a career change, I finally started looking for opportunities in ministry. This led me unexpectedly to the Church of England when I was hired to be the assistant minister at an Anglican church in Surrey. I had grown up in a much different tradition and never imagined I would stay within the Church of England, but I was soon called to be the lay leader of a small Anglican church in Clacton. As I went through the discernment process, I felt a greater and greater calling  to Anglican priesthood.

It is hard to believe both how long it has taken me to come to this point in my faith and how quickly everything seems to have happened over the past few years. I am very excited to be ordained as a deacon this year and wait expectantly for the day I will finally be ordained priest.


Claire Abraham

Claire Abraham

Archdeaconry: Southend
Parish: Westcliff, St Alban

I grew up in Shenfield and, as a cradle Roman Catholic, the seeds of my faith were sown at the local RC Primary school. My personal faith was enlivened at a school Christian Union weekend in her mid-teens which I primarily attended for the go-karting! In 2013, I had a second dramatic Damascus experience following the sacrament of reconciliation which led to an intense spiritual journey, a call to ordained ministry and a painful process of leaving the Roman church. I read Maths at University before pursuing a career in the city of London, culminating in a global project management role with opportunities for worldwide travel. I trained at Cuddesdon and I’m very excited to serve my title at St Alban’s Westcliff and St Mark’s Southend as these Catholic Tradition churches explore their new parish identity and Inclusive Church status and reach out to their local communities.

I’m married to Russ, and we share a love of photography and the countryside. In my spare time I love to run, swim, cook and socialise. My church related passions include ecumenism, retreats and pilgrimage. I owe a massive debt of gratitude to those who accompanied me on my bumpy journey to ordination.


Lisa Whymark

Lisa Whymark

Archdeaconry: Chelmsford
Parish: Hutton All Saints and St Peter

I was born in Barking and grew up in Hornchurch, Essex on the Airfield estate.  I went to secondary school in Upminster and have always been interested in all sports throughout school and my teenage years, so it was no surprise to anyone when I did a degree in Sport and Physical Education at Warwick University and became a PE teacher. After university I travelled the world with my now husband and then started teaching in Waltham Forest before moving to Redbridge. I loved being involved with all aspects of the students’ lives and was Head of year before moving onto become a Sports Co-ordinator, working with primary schools across the borough.

I am married to Stacy and we have 4 daughters ranging from 11 to 18 who all take after our passion for sport and our spare time is spent taking one child or another to various training session or matches around the county, and sometimes even further afield! Our hectic household has recently been joined by a crazy puppy, which we are trying to train with not much success.

I was baptised as a baby but my family did not attend church at all, I occasionally went to Brownie church parade and attended the Sunday school and youth club at the local church for a brief time when I was about 11. I started going to church when my eldest daughter was born and the enormity of bringing up a child hit me, I felt quite alone due to my family circumstances and remembered that the church had been welcoming all those years ago even for the short time I went. I became involved with the local church and quickly got roped into helping with the Sunday school when people found out I was a teacher.  Over time I went on various Christian courses to find out answers to questions I had and always seemed to have more questions.  After many years this eventually led me to ordination on a path I never knew would be open to me.

I have a passion for those on the edges which I am able to do fulfil that mission through the work I do at The Daily Bread which is a ministry at St Peters and All Saints church, Hutton where I am based, giving out food daily to people, engaging with them through living alongside them and bringing the community together through easy access to the church every day. I am looking forward to all that curacy brings in this amazing community.


Jo Wood

Jo Wood

Archdeaconry: Stansted
Parish: Pilgrim Parishes

I was baptised on Advent Sunday when I was three months old and belonging to the church has always been an important part of my life.  My faith has played a significant role in guiding me through a varied teaching career (including three years in Nepal), interspersed with library and charity work.  From the earliest glimmer of a sense of calling, my journey towards ordination has taken a long time, so I am feeling amazed as well as excited at reaching this next step on the path.

I have always enjoyed sharing my musical gifts in worship, most recently as part of the church family in Dunmow and Barnston where I have worshipped for the past 23 years.  I will be continuing to work part-time as a clarinet teacher alongside my new role as Curate in the Pilgrim Parishes.

I enjoy family and local history, so it’s very special to be serving in this part of North West Essex where I have strong roots going back many generations.  After training on the Rural Pathway at Sarum College I am passionate about the potential of rural churches and looking forward to joining in with what God is already doing here.


Kate Sale

Kate Sale

Archdeaconry: Stansted
Parish: North Hinckford TM

I was born in Seven Kings, Ilford and later moved with my family to Epping where I started junior school.  I went to high school in Loughton, followed by London School of Economics, where I graduated in Economics.  After university I joined Essex Police and specialised in the prevention of persistent offending and offending by young people.  After police retirement, I trained as a counsellor and continue to work with a national charity supporting people affected by the alcohol or drug misuse of a loved one.

I’m married to Tony; a Photographer and we both enjoy walking and cycling. We have two ‘wonderful’ grown-up sons and dizzy Cockerpoo called Bo, who thinks she’s still a puppy despite being nearly twelve years old.

I was baptised as a baby and my family went to church only very occasionally. My journey to Ordination started after attending an Alpha Course in 2008 which led to my Confirmation the following year. At that point everything changed because I had made a personal commitment to Christ. I began regularly attending my local village church of St Catherine’s in Gosfield, and then gradually found myself drawn into new roles and responsibilities such as leading services as an Authorised Local Preacher.

I have a heart for team working and for trying to help and understand others, I’m looking forward to serving my title post at North Hinckford, a large rural benefice in north Essex that covers 15 churches.


Gary Fleming

Gary Fleming

Archdeaconry: Stansted
Parish: The Rodings, Easters and Gt Canfield

My call to vocation comes after a career in the uniformed services and as a lecturer in business studies. I am married with two Children and my wife recalls that I would often state that I felt restless, and that I was called to do something else (other than what I was doing at the time). I had witnessed the work of the Spirit in my life and others, so encouraged by those around me, I attended a vocations day where all the strands of my life seemed to come together into the role of the priest.

My last two years have been spent studying at St Mellitus College and on placement at Chelmsford Cathedral. I also served as a chaplain at Broomfield hospital working amongst the staff on the Covid-19 care wards. I look forward to starting curacy and the commission of Christ to go and serve the communities I am called to. I go in with an open heart and mind, excited at what the God will call me to do and be. My prayer is for knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out.


Anna Davis

Anna Davis

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: Stanway, St Albright's

I am originally from Langdon Hills, Basildon, and am delighted to be serving curacy in Stanway, Colchester at St Albright’s. I was a Dispensing Optician before following my vocation to be a Children and Families Worker in Langdon Hills and then embarking on the discernment process. I’m married to Gregg and we have two wonderful children. I am a vegan, passionate about the environment and a big lover of animals. You can often find us walking our huge Golden-Labradoodle (Bruce) or snuggling with him at home. I find this combines my loves of nature, keeping fit and quality time with my family nicely. I also love cycling, singing, dessert and anything that makes me laugh.

I have known Jesus since I was little but my faith came alive when I realised that God is for me, not against me. I felt called to ordination many years ago but never believed it could happen for me - my journey has been a testament to God restoring hope, moving mountains and making the impossible happen. I am feeling incredibly blessed and thankful as I approach ordination, and am so looking forward to helping others know how deeply loved they are by God.


Daniel Cant

Daniel Cant

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: Colchester New Town and the Hythe

I was born in Colchester in 1978, attended Friars Grove Primary School before joining The Gilberd School.  Upon leaving school in 1995, I joined the army and served for two years.  Upon leaving the army I valeted prestige cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley and many more).  After four years of valeting, I entered the care sector for a year before settling into the construction industry, working with my father Rex. 

In 2005, my fiancé and I were involved in fatal collision on the A12.  Following her death and my life changing injuries, I found faith and began attending church.  It was at church I felt called to help others and joined the Red Cross.  However, after a spiritual encounter I explored a call to ordained ministry. 

During the discernment period I met my now wife Leanne and have two wonderful stepchildren, Holly and Jacob.  Leanne and I were blessed by the arrival of our son Aaron.

Since responding to the Holy Spirit in 2005, I have attended a variety of churches including St. Margaret’s Church, Toft Monks, Norfolk serving as deputy warden, St. John’s Church, Colchester, St. Margaret’s Church, Colchester, Ordinand at Christ Church, Colchester and now a Curate at St. Stephen’s Church, Colchester.  I also served as a Street Pastor.     

My enjoy DIY as well as being a sci-fi fan, loving Marvel and Star Trek (Discovery especially!).

Approaching ordination, I am looking forward to stepping out with the Holy Spirit into the unknown, proclaiming into a post-covid parish the love of Jesus. 


Caroline Brown

Caroline Brown

Archdeaconry: Stansted
Parish: Hedinghams and Upper Colne

I grew up in a rural village just outside Ipswich, Suffolk, and I now live in a rural village in the Benefice of the Hedinghams and Upper Colne which is where I will serve my curacy.

My background has primarily been in Business and Finance, but after completing a Theology and Pioneer degree at Ridley Hall, I went on to be involved in working to support Homeless Men, and after that in-community building with families in Chelmsford.

I have two grown up children Michelle who lives in Hampshire and Paul, who lives in Suffolk. My main interest is in travelling whether that be to a beach to relax or something a bit more intrepid, I also enjoy city breaks at home and abroad.                                                                                                           

I also enjoy dancing, and have been described as quirky, and you are more likely to see me on Machu Picchu than in a beach hut at Bognor !

I am sure like most people my journey to this point has not been easy or straight forward, but I knew it was what I had to do, and have felt God leading me to where he wanted me to be. I am a mixture of excited and nervous about ordination day, but more than that reflecting on how far I have come, and the next stage and where my ministry may lead.

I feel humbled and in awe that I will be ordained, and so excited as to how and where I may be able to share Gods’ love to others.


Karen White

Karen White

Archdeaconry: Southend
Parish: Basildon, St Andrew's

I was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and raised in Dawley, Telford where I was baptised as an infant. Following some inspiring teaching at school in my teens, I went on to be confirmed at the age of 18 before later becoming a teacher. I’m married to Peter and have two daughters.

I describe my relationship with God as one initially of fear, due to much ‘fire and brimstone’ teaching, but found a truly loved and blessed relationship following an Emmaus Road experience. I recall seeing the Trinity in all its glory and a love beyond description, with God calling me to go and tell others about his love.

This led me becoming a licensed lay minister in 2017 in the parish of St. Andrews with Holy Cross, Basildon, where I was happy in my ministry. However, I had a continual ‘nagging’ from God to serve Him ‘fully’ and He ‘wouldn’t let go’. This led me on the path to ordination. It is now, some years later, I’m answering that call to serve God fully, as He always intended. I feel truly blessed, excited and privileged to be serving Him in this new way.


Funmilayo Vaughan

Funmilayo Vaughan

Archdeaconry: Chelmsford
Parish: Great Baddow Meadgate

I was born in London, at St Mary’s hospital, Paddington.  I’m of Nigerian heritage and grew up in Kilburn NW London. I have four sisters and a brother, and my family is from Lagos, Nigeria.

I studied Law at Middlesex University and attended the Nigerian Law School. In 2001 I moved to Grays in Essex.  My sending church is St Clements in Grays, which I joined in 2014. Prior to this I was in the Pentecostal denomination.

In 2019 I left the Crown Prosecution Service after 18 years of service in London to start my theological training at Ridley Hall.

I grew up with my aunty who was significant in my journey of faith. I finally accepted my path to ordained ministry as a possibility through the encouragement of my Director in the CPS who was not of Christian faith.

My curacy is with Great Baddow Team Ministry of St Mary’s, St Paul’s and Meadgate church.

There is a mixture of nerves and excitement leading to my ordination and I’m looking forward to being a fellow labourer in the vineyard of the community I have been placed in.

I support Liverpool, love dancing, table tennis and hates chocolates.          


Hayley Rogers

Hayley Rogers

Archdeaconry: Southend
Parish: United Benefice of Ashingdon with South Fambridge, Canewdon and Paglesham.

Hello, I’m Hayley. I grew up by the sea in Margate, Kent (where my mum and dad still live), and my first contact with church was attending church parade as an enthusiastic Brownie. I moved to Essex in 1994 after starting work in London as a Government lawyer specialising in drafting Bills for Parliament. After moving to Althorne in 2001 I started to get more involved in the local church, and to my surprise (but not God’s), before long I found myself leading services and preaching.  I was keen to deepen my understanding of my faith and embarked on the Course in Christian Studies in 2009. While on the course I felt a call to ordained ministry, but couldn’t quite believe it. So I trained as a Licensed Lay Minister, and have been privileged to exercise that ministry since 2015. But God’s call didn’t go away, and by 2018 I couldn’t ignore it any longer, so in 2019 I returned to St Mellitus College to train for ordination. I’m thrilled to be serving my curacy in the United Benefice of Ashingdon with South Fambridge, Canewdon and Paglesham.


Nicolas Pucenot

Nicolas Pucenot

Archdeaconry: Southend
Parish: Westcliff St Michael & All Angels

I was born in France, to a French dad and Ivorian mum. I have lived in both France and the Ivory Coast throughout my early childhood until we moved to the UK. I have lived in the UK since I was around 11 years old. I grew up in Northwest London, studied Law and became a youth worker after I finished my studies at the University in Hertfordshire.

I am married to Sarah, and I have two little girls (6 and almost 4). I like to read but more specifically fantasy fiction, such as Shadow and Bone, The Witcher series and I also like Sci-Fi. My favourite film would have to be the fifth element. I've also got a telescope for star gazing that I like to use when I can.

I like watching American Football (WhoDat Nation), F1. I am very much into fitness and exercising and I like play D&D on occasion.

I will be serving my curacy at St Michaels and All Angels in Westcliff-on-Sea under Rev Tom Loh.

The calling to ordained ministry came when I was at Soul Survivor in my mid 20s. I since then have worked towards fulfilling following the calling God placed on my life. I am excited and looking forward to ordination and being able to work alongside and serve the people of Westcliff-on-Sea


Jacqui King

Jacqui King

Archdeaconry: Chelmsford
Parish: Southminster St Leonard

It has taken me years to respond to God’s call. I did not think I was good enough because I lacked qualifications, had a troubled youth, have been divorced; plus, my family do not share my faith.  I also thought that clergy must be able to play a musical instrument and be amazing at quizzes!  My husband, grown-up sons and I have lived in Braintree for eighteen years and my sending church is an Ecumenical Partnership in Great Notley. I have had a varied career, but before starting training, I worked for fourteen years with the Salvation Army; my last position was leading their research and development unit. During training, I was the County Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Essex and East London while studying part-time with St Mellitus College.  I can honestly say nothing about you or your life will surprise the Diocese Vocations Advisors. If you love God and he is prompting you to explore your calling, tell someone or join the Chelmsford Course in Christian Studies as I did after going to a Vocations Day. What I am looking forward to is helping people discover their gifts and ministry using the things I love most:  conversation, drinking coffee, walking and praying.


Moji Jaiyesimi

Moji Jaiyesimi

Archdeaconry: Southend
Parish: Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon

I was born and grew up in Nigeria. The first few years of my life were spent with my grand mother and great grand mother (as my parents were studying abroad) who were devout Anglicans. I studied Law at the (then University of Ife) and practised for a number of years. I got married to Yemi at St. Marks Kennington, London. Our family has grown to include grandchildren. I took the qualifying exams to be a solicitor of England and Wales in 2005. I also hold a Postgraduate Diploma (Leeds University) Child Forensic Studies. I have always been involved in youth work and helped to run some Bible Clubs. I suppose having being led to Christ as a young child has been the motivation for my interest in children’s ministry. At the moment, I work with very young children. My journey to ordained ministry began as ‘stirrings’, nurtured by various significant people and brought to reality through the ‘wonderings’ of the vocation group to which I belonged for close to one year. I attend the United Benefice of St. Giles and All Saints Orsett; St Peter and St.Paul Horndon-on-the- Hill and St.Mary the Virgin Bulphan


Timnat Emmanuel

Timnat Emmanuel

Archdeaconry: Chelmsford
Parish: Chlemsford, Ascension w All Saints

My name is Timnat Emmanuel. I was born and brought up in Pakistan, in a catholic family. At a noticeably young age, I wanted to follow and serve Jesus, strongly becoming aware of my calling to the specific role in ministry. I have enjoyed serving in an educational setting as a teacher and later as a headteacher. I am married to Rev. Rufin Emmanuel, and we have three amazing children who have been extremely supportive during my training.

I will be serving my curacy as a self-supporting minister at The Ascension with All Saints Church, Chelmsford, after training at St Mellitus College. Previously, I have worked as a teaching assistant in London and later as a clinical counsellor. I have found my work with children and young people extremely rewarding. I am deeply passionate about helping people to cope with challenges and making a positive change in their lives. I find it fascinating to listen to their life experiences as well as improving their wellbeing as it helps to build a trusting and therapeutic relationship.

I will continue to work in secular employment alongside ministry. I am looking forward to serving the wider community and getting to know people in the parish. I enjoy spending time with family, walking, cooking, and listening to music. Regardless, I am excited to see where God will lead me as I begin my ministry, however it is also quite overwhelming.


Dawn Butcher

Dawn Butcher

Archdeaconry: Chelmsford
Parish: Broomfield St Mary w St Leonard

My name is Dawn Butcher. I currently live in Romford with my husband, Paul, and our two children, Joseph (15) and Holly (11). I will be serving as deacon in Broomfield St Mary with St Leonard. 

Our sending church of St Mary, Becontree, was home for both myself and Paul for around 40 years.  I received from both my own family and my church family a place where my faith was nurtured and fed. I am thankful to both for the solid Biblical teaching they gifted me and also from whom I witnessed faith in action. 

Previously, I worked in the public sector, and, after being at home with my children for a number of years, I worked in various admin roles in the Church. 

I desperately tried to ignore God’s call to this vocation because I felt inadequate; but it was only when I finally said yes to him that I experienced his absolute peace and a sense of rightness.  I still struggle with feeling inadequate and yet I have to come to know that God will equip me as he has called, and he is always sufficient


Sophie Weller

Sophie Weller

Archdeaconry: Harlow
Parish: Tye Green, St Stephen

My name is Sophie Weller, I was born in Cambridge in 1974 and grew up mostly living in a large village just north of Cambridge called Bar Hill where I became a Christian aged about seven or eight. I attended the local Primary School and then attended a Church School in Cambridge for my secondary education. I went to College and studied Social Care, once completed I went (originally for a year out) to Romania to work with a humanitarian Aid organization and discipleship project and ended up helping to start a humanitarian project and working in a hospital for children with Tuberculosis.

I came back to England, did a year’s youth work and then went to London Bible College (showing my age) where I got my degree in Theology and majored in Children’s work and music and worship. I then went to North Devon and joined the Lee Abbey Community where I cooked and also led the Youth and Children’s team (amongst other things). For the last 17 years I have headed up the Children’s work at All Saints Church in Woodford where I have eventually felt the call to Ordained Ministry.

Married to Damien (a Countryside Care Assistant) with son William (who is ten years old) who has Autism, I was not thinking I was qualified to be ordained, nor would it be straightforward with my family situation, so imagine my surprise when called God called me! Somewhat reluctantly (understatement), I began to test out that call, and now, after three years of study and far too many essays I am embarking upon my Curacy at St Stephen’s, Tye Green in Harlow. I am looking forward to all that I will learn and continuing to grow into all that God has for me and my family.


Joseph Oyinlade (Oyin) Oladipo

Joseph Oyinlade (Oyin) Oladipo

Archdeaconry: West Ham
Parish: Victoria Dock, Ascension

I was born in Nigeria to an Anglican Father and a Roman Catholic Mother. I’m the fourth of thirteen siblings.

My formative years were greatly influenced by revival that swept through West Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. I later joined a Pentecostal Church.

I relocated to the UK in the early 2000s and worked as a Further and Higher Education Tutor in London. 

I trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford where I was cadet chaplain of the Oxford University Officers Training Corps. 


Jonathan Huff

Jonathan Huff

Archdeaconry: West Ham
Parish: South Woodford, Holy Trinity

I completed my training for ordained ministry at Ridley Hall in June and will now be serving my curacy at Holy Trinity South Woodford with Revd Abi Todd. I’m married to Lydie and we’ve just celebrated our one-year anniversary down in Cornwall! We have a little one on the way – for now known affectionately as “Peanut” – arriving in October.

I was raised in a non-denominational church but “fell into” the Church of England after returning home from university. A few years after this I discerned a call to ordination, which has led me to this point- Lydie and I are very excited to finally have arrived at the church where God has called us, and where I will take my first steps in ordained ministry.

I’m a musician by trade with a background in academia, and I remain a keen trumpeter and (in church) worship leader. I’m passionate about American Football, coffee, history, whisky, The Lord of the Rings, jazz, red wine and weightlifting!


Becs Challis

Becs Challis

Archdeaconry: Harlow
Parish: Six Villages MMU

Although born in Wales I have spent most of my life in Suffolk, until crossing the border into Essex where I met my Husband, Anthony.

I have spent most of my working life in new technologies and innovation most recently as Projects Manager for a Professional Body in Bishops Stortford before leaving to study at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

I attended St Mary the Virgin, Stebbing Church where I was part of the PCC and the Way Forward Project to refactor the church building.

I love art and photography (especially being creative with our 5yr old son Freddie), I enjoy attending boxercise classes and watching cricket and rugby, also going on family walks with our extremely energetic Sproodle puppy Eggsy.

My journey to faith started when I was relatively young singing in the choir in Suffolk, but was reignited when helping to lead various outreach activities at Stebbing church. The church family there encouraged me not to be so stubborn and to listen to God’s call on my life! I am really looking forward to getting involved in the rhythm of life in the Six Villages and helping to bring the church and communities together centred on Jesus.


Liz Blackham

Liz Blackham

Archdeaconry: West Ham
Parish: Leytonstone, St John

I grew up in a small village outside the seaside town of Bridlington, East Yorkshire and I was a competitive swimmer for many years before moving to London for university. I enjoy the buzz of city life but still love swimming and time by the sea.

I am married to Paul who is an ordained minister and theologian and we have led church plants in Lancashire, South Wales and Highbury over the past ten years. We have three children: Jonathan is hugely practical, loves engineering and is now exploring his own vocation, PJ loves mediaeval history and hasn’t met a character from church history he’s not interested in! Anna is creative, loves twitch streaming and the dark academia aesthetic.

I don’t recall a time when I didn’t believe in Jesus growing up, but I have had many times of challenge and faith-growth over the years. I enjoy reaching out to people in Jesus’ name whether at Speaker’s Corner when I first came to London or later working for Christians Against Poverty or as a Street Pastor. I am looking forward to the next adventure at St John’s, Leytonstone.


Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett

Archdeaconry: Barking
Parish: Cranham Park, St Luke

I grew up in Havering and attended school in Upminster. After school I spent the next 20 years working in the family stationery business, which was also based in Upminster. It was during this time, after several years of pestering, my Mum persuaded me to go to an Alpha course at St Luke’s Church in Cranham and within four weeks I had come to faith.

About 10 years ago I started helping at an addiction recovery ministry at St Luke’s. It was during this time the call to ordination became overwhelmingly clear. 

During my time in that ministry I was constantly amazed at just how completely, God could change the lives of those suffering so much, bringing healing, transformation, reconciliation and joy. I also know, from experience in my own life (I suffer from a long term chronic illness), that God can do unimaginable things, as He has used me and empowered me to do things that would be impossible in my own strength. 

I’m looking forward to serving people in my curacy and to help them have that same loving experience with God that I and others have experienced and have hope when things seem impossible.


Cecilia Pelligrin

Cecilia Pelligrin

Archdeaconry: Barking
Parish: Becontree, St Mary

.I was born in Freetown Sierra Leone; my father was from Ghana and my mother from Sierra Leone.

My mother was a Roman Catholic and my father an Anglican. I was christened and raised as a Catholic.

I went to St. Anne’s and St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Freetown. I also went to St. Mary’s Abbey in Mill Hill in North West. After St. Mary’s we went back to Sierra Leone at a time when I was searching for a meaningful relationship with God. I encountered Jesus and became active in Youth for Christ and Scripture Union as a young adult, my faith grew.

I moved back to England forty-two years ago; I worshipped at Christ Church Spitalfields for over 20 years. I served in various capacities including leadership roles, before moving to Dagenham and joining St. Mary’s Becontree. I am locally deployed and look forward to what God will do as I continue to serve him at St. Mary’s.

I retired five years ago; I worked for over 30 years up to management level in Charity Accounting and Finance. I also taught at various institutions including BTEC at a Further Education college. I qualified in Finance and General Administration and hold a post-graduate degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management as well as a Teaching Diploma.

Our household is made up of two other adults; my husband Joseph and our dear Marie.


Raquel Moreira

Raquel Moreira

Archdeaconry: West Ham
Parish: Stratford St Paul and St James (Church E20)

I was born in Lisbon Portugal. My father is Portuguese and my mother is Brazilian. My childhood was spent in these two beautiful countries. As a teenager, my pastors/missionary parents decided to start a life here in the UK where as a family we have always served and worked with the Portuguese speaking community.  

My teen years were all about searching for my own truth, I never stopped believing in God but wanted no involvement with the “church”. At the age of 20 I had a life-changing experience with the Holy Spirit that brought me back to my Christian roots. 6 years ago I started working as a youth worker for the CofE where my discernment journey started.

I have been married to Kyle for 15 years and we are parents to 2 precious little ones, Eliza (3) and Isaias (4 months). Let’s say the past 5 years have been a real-life rollercoaster with so many exciting yet challenging moments.

As a family, we are delighted to serve my curacy at Church E20 in the Parish of St Paul’s and St James in Stratford where we will also carry on serving with the Portuguese speaking community and church. We love Newham and are so happy that God has called us to this community.

I enjoy entertaining and our home is always buzzing with family, friends, late-night debates and worship.