Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Rector to retire after 25 years

THE rector of Rotherfield Peppard is to retire this month after 25 years.

THE rector of Rotherfield Peppard is to retire this month after 25 years.

Reverend Canon Graham Foulis Brown will step down on Sunday, September 20, his 65th birthday, after holding a final benefice service.

A Scot, he was born in Renfrewshire in 1950 and was educated in Glasgow and then London.

He taught English in Berkshire for almost a decade and became an ordinand of the Oxford diocese before he was ordained in Milton Keynes, where he was a deacon, in 1982. He served as curate of Hungerford-and-Denfold until 1984 and then as a vicar in the Bicester area team ministry in 1984 before being made vicar of Kidmore End with Sonning Common in 1990.

In 2002, he was appointed priest-in-charge of Rotherfield Peppard. The following year a new benefice of Peppard and Kidmore End and Sonning Common was created and he became rector.

Mr Foulis Brown also served as a magistrate from 1987 to 2012, was a governor of Kidmore End Primary School and has organised the rota for the Henley Standard’s weekly Thought for the Week column for many years.

His interests include his livery company, of which he is chaplain, and he is an honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford. He and his wife Felicity were separated in 1996 after 17 years of marriage.

They have two children, Eleanor, 33, and Rupert, 31, who attended Kidmore End Primary School and then Queen Anne’s School in Caversham and the Oratory School in Woodcote respectively.

His daughter followed him into teaching and is now a deputy head. His son works on boats drilling for oil and lives in Cornwall.

After his retirement, Mr Foulis Brown plans to move to central Newbury, where he can still work as a priest if he is needed.

He said: “If there are groups of churches where the priest is away I am one of the people who can step in. They use retired priests for that sort of thing and I can keep involved in a way. I have enjoyed being a reverend and will miss it — the people and the responsibilities — but I have been here long enough and it feels like the right time to go.

“It has been everything I expected and thought it would be and quite a bit more as well.

“I do not think I will miss the admin parts of it. Some parts of it have changed and others have stayed exactly the same. You have to be able to adapt. One of the pluses of moving to Newbury is I won’t have to use a car to get everywhere as I’ll be in a town centre flat.”

His final service will be held at St John the Baptist Church in Kidmore End at 11am on September 20.

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