Janet`s letter to the Community

Greetings to you all! It is a great privilege to be coming to join you as Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul`s, Goodmayes.  This is just a bit about me, to give you some idea what to expect.

I was born in Walthamstow and brought up in Chingford, so not so very far from Goodmayes.  After school I worked for a year in the City and then went to university in Exeter to read French.  What do you do with a French degree?  I decided to be a nurse and was in nursing for over 30 years, specialising in hospice and palliative care, mostly in education and management support posts.

I can`t remember a time when I didn`t have some consciousness of God, and my faith has been very important to me since my early teens.  As I`ve moved around the country – London, Exeter, Bristol, back to London (South London this time), then Croydon and most recently to Hackney, I`ve been part of a variety of churches, of different traditions, and have been grateful for the fellowship, teaching and insight that I`ve been offered in each of the different places where I`ve worshipped.  For a while I thought God might be calling me to Religious Life and I spent 18 months with the Sisters at St. Saviour`s Priory in Hackney.  This turned out not to be the direction for me, but it did strengthen the call to ordination.  I trained at the South-East Institute for Theological Education, alongside a part-time post at St. Josesph`s Hospice, and was ordained deacon at St. Paul`s Cathedral in July 2011.

For the last three years I`ve been Assistant Curate at St. Paul`s, West Hackney (another St. Paul`s!), learning to be a priest and working on a range of community and church projects, including the Hackney Winter Night Shelter, a project for vulnerable women, North London Action for the Homeless, Messy Church and a Discipleship Programme for adults worshipping in the Liberal Catholic tradition.  I`ve loved developing new skills, building on past experience and working with some amazing people.

Now it`s time to come and join you, and to see where God will lead us in the future, as we work together to further his Kingdom in Goodmayes.  The evidence I`ve seen so far suggests that you`re just as amazing, and it will be a great adventure!  It`s both exciting and a little daunting.  But I believe that God is faithful.  The God who became a human being in Jesus Christ and shared our human life knows all about human frailty.  He is there to strengthen us as we try to follow him and to share the good news of his love and faithfulness with others.

I believe that God has called me to St. Paul`s, Goodmayes.  I am praying for you.  I`d value your prayers for me as I wrap up my work in West Hackney and say goodbye here; as I prepare to move house, together with my niece and her partner who`ll be moving with me; and as I settle in and begin to get to know you and the people of the Parish.

I look forward to meeting you”!

God bless,

Revd. Janet Buchan



We are pleased to announce that Janet will be Installed as Priest-in-Charge at

St. Paul`s Church on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7.30p.m.

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