Gorleston curate inducted as vicar
Rev Matthew Price has been inducted as vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston, having served as Curate in Charge there for the last two years.
Matthew, pictured right, who had previously worked as a solicitor in the City of London and on the mission field in Uganda before his curacies in East Norfolk, was inducted in a special service at the Gorleston church on Wednesday October 16.
‘He’s going to become a real vicar at last!’ said the Rural Dean, John Kinchin-Smith at the start of a service which saw the church packed with well-wishers, including local clergy and dignitaries.
The Rt Rev Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, conducted the institution, explaining how Matthew had come to the area as a curate at Bradwell before moving to Gorleston after the retirement of the previous vicar, Linda Rickett. He said it was an unusual journey ‘But the fact that we had to make up the title of Curate in Charge was the right one.’
He praised the work that Matthew and his family, wife Anna, children Barnabas (12), Charlotte (9) and Rosanna (8), had done at the church and in the wider community. ‘It’s the family that has made the impact’ he said. He also thanked the wardens and others who had supported Matthew, and the Rev Damon Rogers of St. Andrew’s, Lowestoft, who has acted as his mentor.
Preaching on Matthew chapter nine where Jesus speaks of ‘the fields ready to harvest’, the Bishop said that churches should follow Jesus’ example of being out and about. ‘We’ve too often stayed in our churches hoping that people will come. Under Linda, the previous vicar, this pattern began to be challenged and now Matthew has built on this’.
But he warned that Matthew couldn’t do it all on his own: ‘You need to build up and equip the people of God to develop their gifts. Each of us has a role to play as labourers to bring in God’s harvest.’
The Archdeacon of Norwich, the Venerable Stephen Betts, led Matthew through the induction which included the traditional knocking on the church door, ringing a bell and vowing to follow all the responsibilities of a vicar. He was welcomed by other clergy and ministers as well as local councillors and head teachers.
The Bridge Choir, conducted by Hazel Thackray, took part in the service singing a moving version of the Casting Crowns’ ‘Nobody’. The church choir performed an eighth-century hymn ‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’.
Matthew Price grew up in East Anglia, mainly in Cambridgeshire, going on to study law at Chester and Cambridge. At university he became a Christian through the work of the Christian Union. After qualifying as a solicitor, he specialised in Intellectual Property Law for a major London firm which led to four years of working on top level assignments, often involving deals worth over a million pounds,
In 2006, he and his wife joined the Baptist Missionary Society and moved to Kampala in Uganda with their three-month-old son, developing a legal aid ministry working in prisons for three years. He returned to the UK as International Director for the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship. They lived in Peterborough and were actively involved in an Anglican church which had been planted in a large and growing estate.
It was there he felt called to full time ministry and he trained in Oxford, working in a church in an area of the city not dis-similar to the Magdalen Estate in Gorleston. The family moved to Bradwell in 2016 where he became assistant curate before transferring to St Mary Magdalene at the start of 2017.
Since his arrival congregations have grown, a thriving youth club and other youth work has been established, and Christmas and summer fun day events have been organised on the adjoining green which have attracted huge crowds. St Mary Magdalen also takes an active role in the local Foodbank and runs a weekly drop in, the Bridge, which provides a full hot meal. The church was visited last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
At the end of the service the church’s electronic bells rang out to welcome the new vicar, and refreshments organised by Gillian and Brian Philpot were served in the church hall where a celebration cake was cut.
Read our previous story about Matthew’s appointment here.
This story is based on a report by Tony Mallion.
The top picture shows the Bishop of Thetford with Matthew Price and his wife Anna and children Barnabas, Charlotte and Rosanna. The bottom picture shows the Bishop of Thetford laying hands on Matthew Price during the Induction. Both pictures are courtesy of Tony Mallion.
The middle picture is courtesy of Rev Matthew Price.
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