Leatherhead Parish Church - Rev Mary Cruddas, NSM Curate

from the September 2005 Parish magazine
Ordinand in Training - There are different ways of being trained and prepared for ordained ministry. Some go away to college full time as others go to university; some train whilst they continue in secular employment, and a new way is by taking a 'mixed mode course'. The Diocesan Director of Ordinands has asked me if our parish would be happy to receive an ordinand who is being trained under this relatively new approach.

I am delighted to do so. Her name is Mary Cruddas and she is currently a member of the parish of Christ Church, Epsom. Under the scheme, Mary will be attached to our parish for at least four years. Much of her training will arise out of the way she is able to contribute to the life of the church here, as any curate would who has already been ordained. Mary will not be able to do this fully until after her ordination, which takes place after her first two years. She will then be ordained deacon and priested a year later.

Each year Mary will go to college at St John's in Nottingham for two five-week study periods when she will undertake her theological training. The rest of the time she will be parish-based in Leatherhead. Mary will begin with us in September and we look forward to meeting her then.
David Eaton

from the October 2005 Parish magazine
Let Me Introduce Myself - Mary Cruddas
I am the new ordinand in training at St Mary and St Nicholas. The Vicar has asked me to write a short introduction to myself.

As I sit down to write a few words of introduction I am reminded of a popular song, "What a difference a day makes".

It seems that after a long time of waiting, selection for ordination training and finding the right college course have brought me almost overnight to the warm welcome received on my first visit to St. Mary's.

I was brought up in another St. Mary's, a large Methodist church in Truro, Cornwall. As an only child my church functioned very much as extended family for me.

It was in my mid-twenties, married and living in Iran, that I next felt so completely at home in a congregation, this time an Episcopal church with a very ecumenical flavour.

I look forward to getting to know you, my new family in Leatherhead. The course of training on which I am embarking is a little unusual and I will be one of the first persons in our diocese to do it. It can best be seen as an apprenticeship or "on the job training".

I will be working with David and learning from him for the next four years and during this time will go to St John's College Nottingham, for blocks of five weeks study. My studies should influence my ministry among you, and sharing life with you will influence my studies. Prayer will complete the cycle of action, study and reflection.

Like all learners, constructive criticism will aid my progress and I hope and pray that you will feel very much involved in my ministerial development. Already I am appreciating your kindness and patience as I slowly learn names. I am excited at the prospect of serving you and sharing our life in Christ.
Mary Cruddas

from the March 2006 Parish magazine
As many people know, Mary Cruddas is preparing for ordination on a mixed mode training course. This involves her in academic study on a block release basis at a theological college, and also in onthe-job training here in this parish. Mary will be ordained Deacon in the summer of next year but has now been Licensed by The Bishop as an Accredited Lay Worker. This gives Mary greater scope to minister in the name of the church and recognises her ministry in its own right as she moves towards ordination. We continue to pray for her and wish her and her husband, Tony, as well in this time of preparation. David Eaton

from the July 2007 magazine
Ordained and rejoicing! As mentioned in last month's magazine, Mary Cruddas will be ordained at Guildford Cathedral at 10.30am on Sunday July 1. We wish her every blessing and thank her for her considerable contribution already to church life. Please come and support Mary at the Cathedral and the "Bring and Share" lunch afterwards. If you have not yet received a ticket please speak to one of the churchwardens. David Eaton

from the June 2008 magazine
Priesting. This month sees the ordination as priests of Revd Mary Cruddas and Revd Mike Stewart who serve in this Parish as non-stipendary ministers. We have every reason to be grateful to both Mary and Mike for all they bring to Parish life. Mary has over the last three years been much appreciated for her warm hearted and dynamic ministry and Mike, although he only joined us last year, has established himself as someone bringing a great depth of biblical insight and understanding.

Mary and Mike will be ordained at 6.30 on Friday June 27 at Guildford Cathedral along with others being priested at the same time. All are welcome at this service and I hope you will want to support them on this special occasion. They will each celebrate for the first time on the Sunday June 29, Mike at 8 o'clock and Mary at 10.30. There will then be a Bring and Share Lunch with presentation after the 10.30 service. David Eaton

Ordination 27 June 2008

Sunday December 5, 2010

Announcement at services today that Rev Mary Cruddas will take her last service here on Sunday 23rd January. Mary has been appointed as a Team Vicar to work as part of the Schorne Team with responsibility for the parish of Waddesdon (Waddesdon with Over Winchendon and Fleet Marston). "This also offers the chance to work in some of the excellent schools in the area and to improve the ways in which we work with young people across the Team. You will need to have an understanding of the nuances of rural life and its challenges. There is a large, modern house in a village with nearly every amenity you could ask for. There are excellent local schools with strong church links and easy access to most of the country while London is still only an hour away." Our best wishes to Mary and her family in their preparations for the next step in their lives.

from the Parish News Sheet for 23 Jan 2011

Fri 4 Mar 7.30pm at St Michael and All Angels Church, High Street, Waddesdon, Bucks HP18 0JQ
The Licensing of Revd Mary Cruddas
Revd Mary Cruddas will be licensed as a Team Vicar at St Michael and All Angels Church, High Street, Waddesdon, Bucks HP18 0JQ on Friday 4 March at 7.30pm. We will be organizing transport for parishioners who wish to attend the service and this will be leaving from the Parish Church Hall at 4.30pm on that date. For those who wish to travel from London, trains run from Marylebone Station. The stop you would need is the Aylesbury Vale Parkway which is the closest to the church. A form will be available in church for those who wish to reserve a place on the coach; please sign up if you do.

Graham Osborne, Mary Cruddas and Mike Stewart after the 11.15 service on 23 Jan 2011, Mary's last service as curate here

from the February 2011 Parish Magazine

The Call is to Community

Rev Mary Cruddas writes:

How do you begin to say goodbye to your family?

With great difficulty I assure you. Over 5 years ago, on a warm September evening I tentatively came to evensong. David Eaton and I had met the previous May to discern whether or not we could work together. We looked at each other after the service and discovered we had both been waiting to hear that the diocese approved the curacy. David said “Shall we get on with it?” and we did!

There was a list of things for me to do in the first three months. One of them was to buy robes. How strange it felt to climb into a cassock for the first time. I never did buy a cloak but David used to lend me his on occasion. I remember the day he suggested I tried it on for size. I walked out of the vestry the cloak sweeping the floor and David said, “You look like … before he could finish I supplied my own words “Darth Vader”. David smiled and said, “I was going to say Florence Nightingale”. We laughed, knowing that we often interpreted situations quite differently.

For me a curacy has been much more than learning how a parish is run, how to preach, to baptise or even make disciples. It’s been a time of discovering how God works over a long period of time within a diverse community of people some of who come to worship on a Sunday. It’s also been a time of discovering more about myself as a human being and a disciple of Jesus.

For quite a while I laboured under the delusion that smoothly run, happy, confident churches were where God could best be encountered. I now perceive it is in the pain and messiness of life, where people disagree and argue, fall out and then struggle to make up that God seems to draw near. I also discovered that very often I was part of the problem rather than the solution. The behaviour the disciples display in the gospels has become all too recognisable in myself.

Of one thing I am convinced, there is no such thing as a lone or independent Christian. God may call certain individuals to lead his people, a gifting to be no more highly valued than any other gift, but he has always formed “a people for his own possession”. The call is to community, the more diverse that community the richer experience of Gods love and grace. So I thank you for sharing your hopes, your gifts and the love of God with me.

Mine was an unusual form of training, long and slow and lived out in the midst of a local community right from the start. I learnt my theology “on the hoof”, which I believe has a precedent in the New Testament. I have been formed by the study of Scripture and Doctrine but also by my life with you. I know your prayers have upheld me. So you have become family to me and parting when I think about it, which I have been trying not to do, brings heaviness to the soul.

But I leave at an exciting time for you as you embrace change, working with a much prayed for and sought after priest. I have valued the confidence Graham has placed in me and the encouragement to “be myself”. I am about to discover the full weight of leadership. I know how much Graham has valued the support he receives from you, that lightens his load. So I would ask for your continued prayers I embrace a new community in Waddesdon, and discover how God would have us love and serve each other so that we might glorify His Name in that place.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

I thank God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:2-3).
Mary Cruddas

from the May 2011 Mickleham magazine

Reverend Mary Cruddas

Mary Cruddas, originally from Truro, Cornwall, came to the church of St Mary and St Nicholas, Leatherhead in September 2005 to train as a Curate under David Eaton. Her training took the form of a ‘mixed mode course’ which at that time was relatively new, particularly here in Surrey. She came to Leatherhead from Epsom where she had been a member of the parish of Christ Church. After two years of training-on-the-job and attendance on a block release basis at a theological college in Nottingham, she was ordained in Guildford Cathedral on Sunday, 1st July 2007, having previously been Licensed as an Accredited Lay Worker in 2006.

Mary completed her training a year later and was priested on Friday 27th June 2008, again in Guildford Cathedral. Over her three years at Leatherhead she was much appreciated for her warm hearted and dynamic ministry.

Leatherhead, and occasionally St Michael’s in Mickleham, were lucky to have Mary’s services until January this year when she was appointed as a Team Vicar with the responsibility for the parish of Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire which includes three very different rural churches in Waddesdon, Over Winchendon and Fleet Marston.

Mary was Licensed at St Michael and All Angels Church in Waddesdon on Friday, 4th March 2011 and by now will have served her first month as Team Vicar. We remember her with affection from the occasions when she stood in for David at our St. Michael’s and send our best wishes to her and her husband Tony for this next stage of their lives. Carole Brough Fuller