Popular curate to leave church for school role
PUBLISHED: 12:03 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:31 10 June 2020
A new chapter beckons for a popular curate from a north Norfolk church.
The Rev Jack Branford, 30, is leaving Aylsham Parish Church to take up a role as chaplain of Gresham’s School in Holt, starting in September.
Mr Branford said: “(My wife) Amanda and I want to say, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you all so much for what has been an amazing four years.
“We really have loved our time living and working as part of the wonderful communities of the Aylsham team.”
“We’ve been blessed with the best mentors possible in Andrew and Catherine Beane; a brilliant ministry team to learn from and work with; and individuals, churches, schools and communities that we just love so much.
“We will be very sad to leave Aylsham and the many lovely people we’ve met here but we won’t be too far away and hopefully many of you will keep in touch.
“We are truly grateful for the time we have spent here and thank you for all you have given us.”
The church is hoping to reopen for private prayer from Monday, June 15 between 9am and 5pm.
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Mr Branford said the church’s team were hopeful services could resume in July.
He said: “I think we’re all hoping we might be able to have some small weddings and funerals sooner rather than later. But, course, even when we are back, Sundays will look a bit different.”
He added that the church had seen a strong demand for its food bank throughout the lockdown.
He said: “The day after the social distancing measures were announced we launched a community helpline with other organisations in the town, to help people get medicine, etcetera.
“We’ve answered well over 1,000 calls.
“The food bank was very busy, particularly early on in lockdown, partly due to the sudden closure of the schools, and it took a while for the government programmes to go through.”
The church, along with Blickling Estate, turned an old phone box opposite Blickling Church into a community pantry where people could pick up food for free.
Mr Branford’s final service at Aylsham’s church is set for August 2.
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