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Norwich vicar celebrates 25 years of priesthood

Patrick Richmond is the vicar of Christ Church in Eaton, Norwich and is celebrating 25 years of priesthood this year. Peter Bending reports.

Patrick originally studied medicine at Balliol College and later gave up a place at John Radcliffe Clinical Medicine school to begin the process of ordination at his church, St Andrew’s in North Oxford.


“I was always interested in science, but I also had a strong faith and a growing sense of calling to serve God and his people. Doing a doctorate, at a conference for Christian students, I realised I wanted to be a vicar,” said Patrick.


Patrick was ordained at Leicester Cathedral after completing his theological training at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and a placement in Karachi, Pakistan, working with drug addicts. His first post was as a curate at Church of the Martyrs in Leicester and, after serving as a chaplain and fellow at St Catharine’s College in Cambridge for six years, he made his way to Christ Church in 2007.


“I am blessed to be part of Christ Church, Eaton, a welcoming and caring community with a strong sense of service and fellowship. We have made many improvements to our church building and hall over the years, thanks to the generosity and hard work of our congregation. We have developed our children’s and youth work, our music, our pastoral care, and, especially during the pandemic, our use of IT.”


Much has changed since his ordination, but Patrick is still looking to the future.


“I think the biggest change has been the increasing secularisation of our society. Attendance by children and young people has reduced, particularly over the pandemic years, but Eaton has many schools.


“I’ve done many assemblies and hope to do many more now things are returning to a new normal. I think it’s vital to engage with young people and share the gospel with them in relevant, scientifically-informed and creative ways,” said Patrick.


Patrick serves as Rural Dean, overseeing the parishes in southern Norwich, supporting them in their ministry and fellowship. He also operates as part of the wider Church of England network.


“As Chair of the House of Clergy on the Diocesan Synod, I represent the concerns of clergy on various issues affecting the diocese and as a member of the General Synod, I participate in the debates and decisions that shape the future of the Church of England nationally.”


Patrick celebrated his anniversary with the Christ Church conregation and a special cake baked by Kathy Ladd to mark the occasion.


“I give thanks for God’s calling and guidance throughout my 25 years of priesthood, and I look forward to continuing to serve God and his people in the years to come,” said Patrick.


Find out more about Christ Church, Eaton at www.christchurch-eaton.org.uk

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