Vicar appointed at Gorleston church
Rev Matthew Price has been appointed vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston and will be licensed at a special service in October.
Matthew was interviewed by the Bishop and Patron (from the Churches Pastoral Aid Society) and, in consultation with the parish representatives elected by the PCC, has been offered the job of Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston, pictured above.
St Mary Magdalene church is at the heart of the deprived Magdalen estate in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth. By the time its last vicar retired the aged congregation was losing impetus and numbers on a Sunday were dropping to below 20. A failure to then draw any applicants led the Diocese of Norwich to create the post of ‘Curate-in-Charge’ in January 2018, appointing to it the Revd Matthew Price, pictured right.
Since Matthew and his family joined the Sunday morning congregation has grown from 20 to 50, including 6 children, with a monthly afternoon congregation including another 30. Links with both the primary schools in the parish have flourished, and quarterly community events led by the church have welcomed over 1000 from the parish. A current evangelistic Bible study group is blooming, welcoming members of the Bridge Drop-In Lunch (which serves meals to 50-70 on a weekly basis).
Mr Price says “My wife, Anna, and I are passionate about Jeremiah’s broad concept of mission. He advises the Israelites in Babylon to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah. 29:7). We are therefore seeking to build a church community that is seeking and praying for the transformation and welfare of every aspect of the Magdalen estate - practical, emotional, spiritual.”
“This is expressed in numerous ways, providing hot meals, volunteering opportunities, giving dignity through an allotment, choir and art, supporting the wide-ranging work of the schools and the local Christian youth project, Identity, providing community occasions for the whole estate, personally supporting those with mental health problems…. the list goes on, the needs and opportunities are endless.”
“But at the heart of all these endeavours is the gospel of Christ who cares about individuals and the community, in this life and into eternity. Our Bible-centred, expository preaching and small group Bible studies provide the heart, hope and energy for all that goes on during the week. We are finding this wide, compassionate vision of Christ’s is compelling people to join us, including those who had previously had no connection with church.”
At 7pm on Wednesday October 16, Matthew will be Installed by the Bishop of Thetford and Inducted by the Archdeacon of Norfolk as the Vicar of St Mary Magdalene parish, enabling him to continue developing all that he has begun.
More information about the church can be found at www.facebook.com/magdalenechurchgorleston .
A new website for the parish is planned to launch in September.
Pictures are courtesy of Rev Matthew Price.
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