Perhaps the title of this should read ‘Introduction from the new Curate’, but I thought that might be a little presumptuous given the list of training assignments still on my desk, and the need to get them finished before June! My name is Jack Bateson and I will, God willing, be joining you all on the 1st July when I am ordained deacon in Canterbury and appointed to be your new curate.
Who am I? Well, my parents came from Tunbridge Wells, and I was born and raised in Faversham. After reading Classics and Computer Science at the University of Kent I ended up working for Houchin’s in Ashford. It was at university that I became a Christian and after working for Houchin’s I made my way to Trinity College Bristol to study the bible in 2002. At Trinity I met Tracey, who became my wife in 2003.
Tracey was ordained deacon in Winchester and we moved to Bournemouth for her curacy. Following her curacy she became an Army Chaplain and we were posted to Germany. After Germany came Tidworth, and then Pirbright (near Woking). It was in Tidworth that our son John was born in 2011 and I became a full time parent. From Pirbright we left the army and Tracey became Bishop’s Missioner to Faversham.
Like my Christian journey, my journey towards ordination has been a very circuitous one! It took 9 years to discern if the church was calling me to ordination, and our family circumstances meant this would probably be as a self-supporting minister. However, God often ‘smiles’ at the plans we make, and just before Christmas everything changed and I have been offered a full time curacy in the G7 Benefice.
So this summer Tracey and I will be changing roles. Myself as curate, and Tracey as full time parent and part time author as she works on her next book. I’m very excited to be joining you all. I have seen Charing and Pluckley many times as we journeyed to and fro from Tunbridge Wells in the past, and I now look forward to stopping and sharing the next stage of our Christian journeys together.
Oh, and please be kind! I finish at St Augustine’s College (West Malling) in June and come to you a keen and green curate who will probably make more than a few mistakes.
Jack, Tracey & John