Farewell to Catherine and Ambi

Catherine Cleghorn and Ambi Naylor will be ordained deacon in Chester Cathedral on Sunday 22 July. It will be a day to rejoice with Catherine and Ambi as they step out into the vocation to which God has called them, but for us it will be liberally mixed with sadness at having to say goodbye to two of our friends.

Ambi joined the team at Bowdon in 2015, taking on the task of helping people grow and deepen their faith. For the past two years she pursued ordination studies at Cranmer Hall in Durham. Ambi’s skills in leading worship and her passion for sitting down with people to help them think through their questions around faith, will make her a great addition to the ministry team in the rural parishes of Siddington, Marton and Eaton, just outside Congleton, where she will serve her curacy.

We’ve been very fortunate indeed to have had Catherine working in the Parish for the past three years whilst she trained for ordination on the St Mellitus course out of Liverpool Cathedral. Catherine is a brilliant motivator and organiser. She led Bowdon’s first-ever 24/7 Prayer Room in St Mary’s, a continuous chain of prayer all day and all night for a full week. Many people testify to the gentle way Catherine has helped them take their Christian service to a new and higher level. Equally at home nattering by the bar in the Griffin or singing her heart out in the choir stalls, Catherine stands happily with a foot in both secular and sacred worlds and has a knack of encouraging others to bridge the gap between the two. Likewise, in the many styles of worship available in this Parish, from full volume Choral Evensong to the, let’s say, less-than-predictable Pet Service, to contemplative prayer at the top of the church tower, Catherine delights in as wide a span of worship as possible. She is a walking reminder of the infinite creativity and glorious innovation of the God she worships and follows. Catherine is heading to two parishes in Crewe for her curacy, where, if the blessings that we’ve experienced from Catherine’s ministry are anything to go by, the churches and communities she will serve are in for a treat.

Ian Rumsey, Vicar