Parish of Leatherhead: Carol Smith: Ordinand in Training 2000-2004

Carol, who lived in Leatherhead and partly trained here, is to be the Vicar of St Luke's, Moulsham, in the Chelmsford Diocese. She will be inducted there on November 1. All Saints Day, at 7.30pm.
(Aug 2007 magazine)

24th September 2006 - 'Back to Church Sunday'
We were pleased to welcome back Carol and Brian as part of the invitation to former staff to return to preach at a Family Communion Service during 2006. Carol spoke of her work in Epping and that it covers a wide range - governorship of a school, workplace pastoral care, services for young families- in addition to all the tasks curates take on. She is enjoying it.

In May this year as part of the Chelmsford Diocese's outreach she was among a party which visited Africa. She was particularly enthused by the work of the Kiaritha Medical Dispensary, at Kerugoya, Mount Kenya.

from the August 2005 Parish magazine

A Special Day It was Sunday 26th June, the day for Carol Smith to be ordained priest by the Bishop of Barking. When our small group set off in Gloria the minibus to drive to Epping we knew it was going to be special, but we could not know quite how special.

!t was an easy drive along the M25, under the Thames and into Essex; in an hour and a half we were in Epping and had found the Church, its free-standing tower with overhanging clock standing prominently on a corner, in the broad High Street. When we entered it seemed almost like a small cathedral. The lofty painted barrel roof, the beautiful carved rood screerh, huge organ and amate altar reredos are most impressive, but the light flooding in through the windows has a welcoming effect.

This has been Carol's parish church for the past year, but she was joined by three other ordinands, all men - one of them a refugee from Ceylon - from other parishes in the Chelmsford Diocese. The Church was crowded with their families and friends as well as the regular worshippers. The Bishop's chair was placed an a small platform in front of the chancel, where we could all see what was taking place - a unique mixture of grandeur and intimacy.

The Bishop's robes were remarkably simple - no colourful embroidery - his crozier was topped by a curled ram's horn, and his pectoral cross was made of nails. When he laid his hands on the candidates' heads, we could see the assisting priests standing round and joining in, and when they stood up again we saw the Archdeacon readjusting each new priest's stole to hang down in front in the proper fashion.

The Peace followed the ordination and was a spontaneous expression of joy throughout the congregation. Carol had been chosen to read the Gospel earlier in the service, but now she almost got left behind when the other three were carrying the elements behind the Bishop as he processed to the altar to celebrate the Eucharist.

The singing and the organ music were tremendous; as well as the more conventional hymns, we sang several of Graham Kendrick's, and also "Christ be our light' which we know so well in our own church Finally; the Bishop presented each new priest with a Bible duly inscribed with his or her name, and after the blessing we came out to find the earlier clouds had gone and the sun was shining.

The Bishop was shaking hands with friends and families. Our Carol had been involved recently in organising a Deanery Mission, and the Bishop told us that her efficiency was "awesome" - no surprise to those of us who had known her here - but she has so much besides to bring to her ministry. Her husband; Brian, was alongside her and it was so good to see them both so happy in this church and community.

The finishing touch was the "Refreshments" which proved to be a real feast in the shade of the trees in the Rector's beautiful garden. It seemed that everyone in the parish had been expressing their joy and love in the endless succession of tasty dishes on offer. The Rector presented Carol with a splendid red stole that she can wear for services at Pentecost and on Saints' days. Perhaps she wore it the following Sunday, the feast of St Thomas, when she was celebrating Communion for the first time.

But we had to tear ourselves away. We came home with a renewed sense of thanksgiving to God for his gift of the ministry and those who are called to serve in it. Christine Bryant

from the June 2005 magazine
Sun 26 Jun 11am St John's Epping: Priesting of Rev Carol Smith: minibus Gloria departs Leatherhead 9am - call 01372 454426 for more info

from the February magazine 2005
An edited letter from Revd Carol Smith
Dear Friends, Where did the last six months go? We miss our friends in Leatherhead but we are both really enjoying Epping, and find it hard to believe we have only been here for such a short time. Of the four churches, we're closest to St John the Baptist, Epping Parish Church, but we are gradually getting to know the congregations in the other three. Geoffrey, my team Rector, can't believe how quickly we've settled in either; it's good to know our feelings are reciprocated. Not long now to my priesting - Sunday 26th June, which we hope will be here in Epping.

Mondays, Market Days here, are my favourite days (apart from Sundays), when the town is thriving and many visitors come to Epping as it is at the end of the Central Line. Many East-enders come in purely for the shopping and for coffee, which we serve in the church. One chap I know says Epping has the best fish and chip shop for miles. I loiter amid the market stalls chatting to stall holders and shoppers, and then spend an hour in church amongst the coffee tables.

From the end of September to mid November I was co-leader of Adult Confirmation classes, culminating in a Deanery Confirmation Service at Waltham Abbey, when 19 of the 30 candidates were from the Epping Team. I have since started a "GIFT" (Growing in Faith and Trust) Group for those who expressed a wish to go on meeting.

My area Bishop (Barking), David Hawkins, is leading a mission in our Deanery in the last week of April. Geoffrey was asked to head that up so I'm on the planning group and we're currently in the throes of putting a programme together.

The biggest church service that I've had responsibility for, so far, is the Crib Service. I was warned that normal attendance is around the 500 mark and I thought it was a "wind up", but it wasn't!! We had 481. The unexpected highlight of the Christmas activities at St John's has to be our "Christmas Tree Festival" when we had 52 Christmas trees sponsored by individual companies, businesses, and community and church groups from the town. It was like a winter flower festival. It started out as a fundraising idea for our Restoration Appeal but when we started talking about it and testing the community to see how far we could extend it, the community practically took it over.

St John's is a big church so we managed to put trestle tables down both north and south aisles and rig up enough electricity for tree lights. There was a ballot for the best-dressed tree, which Costa Coffee won. The trees that were left were sold, which raised even more money. We were amazed at the success of it; in three days we raised just over 4,000, half of which we sent to Send a Cow, the charity chosen by our Children's Groups.

This year promises to be busy as Geoffrey and others prepare me for the priesthood. But I'm not in any hurry. I really am enjoying my year as a deacon and appreciating the time to ask lots of questions and to carry on learning. The expectations will no doubt increase after the first year so I am determined to make the most of what still feels like a honeymoon period.
Much love, as ever, from Carol and Brian

from the June magazine, 2004

Carol Smith is to be ordained by the Bishop of Chelmsford at the beginning of July to serve in the Parish of St John the Baptist and with the Epping Team Ministry. We wish Carol and Brian every happiness as they move from Leatherhead. Here Carol gives an insight into the journey she has made to ordination. David Eaton

From Epsom to Epping via Leatherhead
What a journey! Shortly after Brian and I moved to Leatherhead twelve years ago, I joined Christ Church, Epsom Common, on the advice of a clergy family friend. Then when I was selected for training for the ordained ministry four years ago, Christ Church was without a Vicar so they "sent" me to St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead, where I have been well looked after, thanks to The Revd Canon David Eaton who kindly agreed to be my training minister, plus others who have also played their part in my ongoing training and development.

It is hard to believe that my SEITE (South East Institute for Theological Education) course is nearly over. Managing this kind of study in conjunction with full time employment is pretty demanding yet also highly rewarding. It has meant juggling the day job with weekly tutorials; seven residential study weekends and a week's Easter School per year, plus essays and assessed work both in college and in the parish of Leatherhead. But God continues to equip me for the call and has blessed me with a loving family and friends. So thank you - those of you who are reading this will know who you are!

Pretty soon, it will be "all change". At the end of May, I shall be leaving my job at The Mission to Seafarers in preparation for my ordination at 11am on Sunday 4th July in Chelmsford Cathedral. I have been offered a curacy in the Epping District Team Ministry where I shall be joining The Revd Geoffrey Connor at St John the Baptist, Epping. There are three other churches in the team plus a hospital, which is an area of ministry that I am particularly interested in.

Brian will also be leaving his part-time job at SAVI (The Surrey Association for Visual Impairment) at the same time. Life is all about memories and we both have many happy ones from the time we have spent here. We will miss all our friends in Leatherhead and would value your prayers as we prepare for the move. If you would like to stay in touch, our new address from 1st July will be: 76 The Plain, Epping, Essex CM16 6TW Our e-mail address is [updated] (replace AT with @ before sending) Carol Smith

Carol Smith
Carol joined us in September 2000 when she commenced her training for the non stipendiary ministry. Born in Dover, Carol has lived in various parts of the U.K. and in the Middle East.

She now works for a Church mission agency represented, with ecumenical partners, in over 300 ports around the world. Travelling has brought her into contact with many other faiths and she enjoys working with others both overseas and in the parish.

Carol is interested in Celtic spirituality and is linked to the Community of Aidan and Hilda on Holy Island.