It was great to meet some of you when I last visited Christ Church earlier in the year. None of us could have imagined back then how things would work and how different life would look now for us all. For me, that means a postponement of my ordination, a delay in my move into the Parish, and sadly that I will have to wait a little longer to meet you all and for us to get to know each other. In the meantime, here is a little something about me by means of introduction and so that you know something of what you are letting yourselves in for!

I was born and bred in Hedge-End and have lived there all my life. I came to faith nearly ten years ago. Although I might have described myself as a Christian before, this was when faith became real to me and impacted on how I lived my life. This was the start of a life changing time that has led me to reconciliation, forgiveness and a greater sense of meaning and purpose. About seven or so years ago I first started to explore a call to Ordained Ministry. This led me back to education, studying in the evenings for three years and doing two years at Winchester University studying Theology and Ethics, before being recommended to train for ordination. My training for Ordination was undertaken at Wycliffe Hall Oxford. The first two years were on a mixed-mode pathway, meaning two days of study at college and a private study day, mixed with the remainder of the week engaged in ministry in two different parishes within the diocese of Winchester. My final year was a full time residential year in Oxford. These three years have been incredibly informative and formational, of there is a great privilege in learning from people like Michael Green, and more recently Tom Wright. However, I think it is perhaps my personal formation and discipleship in this time that has reminded me of God’s provision and purpose and that has ultimately drawn me ever more closer to him and to a deeper awareness of his love and grace. This is the foundation through which I come to minister the gospel of grace and which I embrace. I am also a strong believer in fun and joy having their place and importance in and amongst the seriousness of church life. I could be described as an evangelical, however it’s not a label that I wear particularly comfortably, because I find a depth of expression in the breadth of tradition and churchmanship, there is always a beauty in sharing in that together.

Much of my time is also spent with my four children. My wife and I separated nearly two years ago, so I have since developed a new pattern to life which enables me to spend quality time with my children. In my leisure time I also love to walk and explore, I like to read, I love a beer and takeaway or a coffee out, I like my football, but coming from the other end of the M27 I’m maybe best to keep that quiet! I really look forward to meeting you all and to everything that the next few years has in store as we witness to the gospel together.

With love and best wishes,
Matt