We are delighted to announce that Andrea Leonard has accepted the invitation to join us as Community Missioner and Priest-in-Charge. Andrea will move to Christ Church in the summer, and we will publish details about the commissioning service soon.
I am a real southerner, having been born and brought up in Guildford, Surrey. I became a Christian at about the age of 17 and then went to study in Birmingham and worked for the NHS in the Black Country for a couple of years. Having felt a call to serve God as a missionary, I went to work in India with the Leprosy Mission but got thrown out after only three months!
To fill in time before staring Bible college to train to be a Bible translator, I worked for London City Mission in Vauxhall. It was there that I met my husband, so instead of going to Bible college I stayed at LCM for a while and then became an Evangelist at a large church in Kennington, London. Three years later we moved out of London to Tonbridge where I focused on being a full-time mum. When the children were 8 and 10 years old, I had to bring them up and support them on my own, with all the challenges that involves. They are both wonderful; Jemimah is now 29 and married to Gavin, both working in Walsall for the Eden Network, and Jonathan is 27 and lives in Edenbridge and is a railway signal design engineer.
I started to work in a local school so that I could be available as much as possible for the children. I eventually became the Inclusion Manager (SENCo) heading up the very large special educational needs department. But God had more changes up his sleeve. After a very strange set of circumstances I found myself training for ordination, which was one of the biggest surprises of my life. I studied at St Augustine’s College, and have since completed my “on-the-job” training (known as a curacy) at St Justus in Rochester, where I fell in love with Medway and its people. I feel so privileged that I am coming to be part of the family at Christ Church Luton.
Life for me so far has been full of adventures and challenges, in all of which I can confidently say that God has never let me down, even though like the poem about footprints in the sand, sometimes Jesus has had to carry me. I look forward so much to joining you and continuing our adventure of life and faith together.