Revds Tudor and Tricia arrived at St Paul's Great Baddow with Harriet nearly eight years ago - Baddow's first ordained couple! Some of you may be surprised to discover that St Paul's was Tudor's church, as many children in Larkrise, Beehive Lane and Baddow Hall schools knew him through assemblies and special school services he held at St Mary's, at Christmas and Easter. Those who went always enjoyed them and learnt new things. Tudor was especially well known and loved at Larkrise where he was governor for many years. Tricia too was a governor for Beehive Lane School for a while.
At St Paul's Church itself, they brought change and creativity. Six years ago they started the 9.30 Sunday service (still going strong) for young children and their big people to come to. This innovative service, full of fun songs, bible stories and activities, just 30 minutes long, has been invaluable to many of us at St Paul's, providing a chance to worship alongside our children and to see the bible and God with fresh young eyes. From this they started the ALF club on a Friday for primary aged children. Then came Holiday Clubs in the summer with special children's activity mornings at Easter and Christmas. Another major innovation was Puppets. Tudor made his first puppet whilst a missionary in Peru from papiermâché. He now has an intriguing puppet family which can appear any time, any place, anywhere (even weddings)!
At St Paul's they ran the Alpha and Freedom in Christ courses, which have been a blessing to many people. Tricia has run a regular bible study with childcare on a Friday and has encouraged people into a deeper way of praying through her prayer groups. As if this isn't enough they've also taken St Paul's to 'New Wine', a big Christian conference in the summer.
They have been with St Paul's through the building work, upgrading the toilets and kitchen.
With Tudor being the Mayor's Chaplain last year, St Paul's had its grandest moment yet when all the councillors came for the Mayor’s farewell service.
Tudor, Tricia, Harriet and Theo will be missed greatly by us at St Paul's. Their welcome, warmth, sense of fun, and friendship is irreplaceable. They have worked tirelessly on our behalf. We wish them well as they head west to Lydiard Millicent, Swindon and begin their ministry there.
The Revd Mones Farah writes:
"It was a privilege to work and serve with the Revds Tudor and Tricia Roberts for the last 8 years here in Great Baddow. Through their time here they brought so many gifts to the team of clergy, to the parish and to the whole Diocese. Tudor and Tricia ministered with main responsibility for St Paul’s Church in Loftin Way, during their time there a renewed emphasis was placed upon the Alpha course and on children work.
"Two areas of ministries flourished at St Paul’s: seeing new people come to faith in Jesus through Alpha; and introducing and running summer holiday clubs, new youth work called Alf and a lot of school work through assemblies and other involvement in the life of the schools in St Paul’s area and beyond...
"After their eight years here they are moving now to the Diocese of Bristol, to a parish in the Swindon area. We shall miss them greatly as colleagues, friends and gifted members of the leadership team in the Parish, but we send them out to continue their amazing work for God and his church."
This article first appeared in "Baddow Life"; it is reproduced with permission.