AN associate priest in Wargrave parish is to leave next week.
The Rev Pam Gordon will share her memories of the past 10 years at a special service at St Mary’s Church on Sunday.
She joined the parish of Wargrave with Knowl Hill in September 2002. The position, which is unpaid, was her first with the church.
Prior to being ordained, she was a teacher in special education at Brookfields School in Tilehurst.
Mrs Gordon said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 so I had to take early retirement from teaching because my surgery meant that I could no longer do my job.
“I had a strong call to share the news of the gospel in a wider way than just in my ordinary life.
“Wargrave and Knowl Hill had just been joined as a single parish and needed more clergy. There was no cost to the parish other than my expenses and I liked having that flexibility.”
Mrs Gordon, who is married with two children, will continue her work with a local healing movement called Well Spring.
She has also recently become an elder for the international organisation Order of Jacob’s Well.
Mrs Gordon said she was sad to leave but excited about her new challenges.
“I am still a teacher at heart, it is just the context that has changed,” she said.
“The responsibilities and opportunities within my role with Well Spring have increased. I am very grateful for all that I have learned here. It is a privilege to share so much with so many and I have been able to do some very creative things in worship, which I am particularly proud of.”
Mrs Gordon, of Hawthorne Road, Caversham, said she had not looked back since joining the church.
“I am thrilled that I was ordained and I feel that the years I have spent here have helped prepare me for whatever is coming in the future,” she said.
“Although I am moving on, other people are going to find that this is their time to move on and grow too. I have worked with some amazing vicars who have given me a very wide experience.”
She said that she would miss working with Knowl Hill Primary School and Piggott Infant School. “Seeing children I have taught grow up is a highlight,” said Mrs Gordon. “It was wonderful to lead worship and work with class teachers on special projects.
“I am excited about the future. I will still have a parish base but it will be closer to where I live.”
Parish vicar Rev John Cook said: “Pam has been fully involved in the life of the church, bringing special gifts in the areas of prayer and healing and in her contribution to the schools of the parish.
“She has constantly offered wise counsel to me personally and has shown Christ-like love and commitment to people across the parish.”
Sunday’s joint service for the whole parish will began at 10.30am and will be followed by a “bring and share” lunch at Knowl Hill village hall at 12.15pm.