The Priest In Charge of Winnersh Parish is the Reverend James Warren

B.Ed. (Bristol), M.Ed. (Birmingham) & Certificate in Theology for Ministry (Cambridge Federation & Ridley Hall).

 

I was born into a farming family in 1954 in Devon, educated at Crediton's famous Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and then did the B.Ed course at what was St, Paul’s College, Cheltenham (now the University of Gloucestershire) in the 1970s.  In 1976 on 6 July I graduated as a Bachelor of Education and four days later on 10 July married Jill, thus ensuring that I am the shortest serving 'bachelor' Bristol University has ever produced !

I then did almost 15 years teaching English in secondary schools in the Midlands but in the 1990s undertook ordination training in Cambridge. By then our family had grown to five and so they ‘did time’ with me as I moved around. In 1992 I served my title at St. Michael’s, Boldmere and I was ordained Priest in Birmingham Cathedral in 1993. In 1995 I became Vicar of Torpoint in Cornwall, a place which served the Royal Navy and where I was an Honorary Chaplain at HMS Raleigh. It was all quite 'Doc Martin' in Cornwall and left me with a lasting love for the county. In 2001 I became Vicar of Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, a thriving parish where I also took on chaplaincies with the Shakespeare Hospice, the Air Cadets, the Town & District Council and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire spead over the 17 years of my incumbency.

There comes a time to move on and I had been thinking about where this might be when the advertisement for Winnersh appeared. The name was one I had heard from my youngest daughter who moved to Wokingham at the beginning of 2018, although we wondered if the Winnersh Triangle was like the Bermuda Triangle ! After an interview in March it became clear I was being called to be Priest In Charge of Winnersh Parish. The Bishop of Reading licensed me in July 2018 – again the 10th day of the month and thus our 42nd wedding anniversary. We have been warmly welcomed by the congregations of St. Mary's Winnersh and St. Catherine's Bearwood and by local church leaders and we are finding our way around the area. The traffic and the roadworks help me exercise the Christian virtue of patience ! In the future my hope is to see more and more lay people offering themselves as leaders : to give pastoral care and support across the wider community; to lead worship and prayer; to teach discipleship in small groups as well as to preach; and to grow into the fullness of Christ as human beings. Enabling the gifts God has distributed amongst all of his people to be put to good use is absolutely central to the future health of the church.

 

Revd James .