St Peter’s has a wide range of people involved in church life and its rôle in the local community. Our Vicar is the Rev Dr Rob James who was appointed to the church and benefice in April 2014 and is chair of the Parochial Church Council (PCC). There are two church wardens who support the vicar; see below for their photographs and brief biographies.
There are a further seven members of the PCC and the Secretary is Mrs Val Thorpe. There are many other members of the church family: those who undertake cleaning, flower arrangements, the brass rota, general maintenance, and gardening to identify just a few. Everyone is welcome and can contribute; becoming a member of the congregation is a step towards becoming part of Christ’s family.
Rob James, Vicar
Rob has been our Vicar since March 2014. Rob grew up in a sea-side town, Lee-on-the-Solent, near to Portsmouth. He trained for ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge and has been a curate in Suffolk as well as working in an unpaid capacity in this diocese before becoming our Vicar. He has also worked for the government and has taught on the Religious Studies degree at the University of South Wales.
Rob enjoys astronomy and some years ago built his own telescope, which he likes to use when weather and time allows. He also enjoys amateur dramatics and is a keen member of Newnham Players. The first role he played for them was as a demon with a lisp in a pantomime.
Rob is married to Jean and they have a cat and four chickens. They also keep bees, although it has to be said that some years are more successful than others where their bee keeping is concerned.
Aimee Lowe, Children and Families’ Leader
In April 2017, I was appointed Children and Families’ Leader to the benefice of St Peter’s Newnham, St Andrew’s Awre and All Saints’ Blakeney. This is a full time salaried position in the church.
Whilst studying Performing Arts at the University of Cumbria I decided to focus on arts in the community. I joined a Christian puppet group taking the gospel into schools, became the events co-ordinator at the Christian Union and joined a worship band traveling to youth events across the country.
During a year out I spent three months volunteering with Tear Fund in Bolivia, working in a primary school and nursery. This was an amazing experience working with children living in prisons and on the streets. We also ran a Christian youth club after school. I have also travelled to South Africa on a mission trip, again working with children.
For the past five years I have been working in numerous primary schools leading PE, drama and music lessons and afterschool clubs. I have been attending the Forest of Dean Community Church in Cinderford, helping with children’s work and worship. Working for Wyedance I have been leading dance and theatre art classes across the Forest.
My husband Charles is a farmer in Newnham and we have a beautiful, joyful daughter, Sophia-Grace.
I have a great passion for working with children and the creative arts. I am looking forward to working in the communities across the benefice and sharing God’s love.
Alan Curtis, Churchwarden
Born a baby boomer in North London, church was always a central part of my life as a child.
Having been to college in Leicester, I spent the first part of my working life in Marketing in London. In my early thirties I moved with my family down to the Forest to live in Newnham. Since then I have worked for myself as an upholsterer and run a furnishing business with my wife Jane.
I have lived in Newnham for more than 30 years now and once again, Church is an essential part of my life. I ran the London Marathon at the age of 48 but now my main interests include singing both in the Church choir and a small a capella choir.
I am an active member of our local amateur dramatic society, The Newnham Players. I also enjoy struggling with the cryptic crossword and have a moderately keen interest in the garden.
I am proud to be part of a church congregation which has a strong sense of inclusivity.
Bev Bowles, Churchwarden
I was appointed Churchwarden in April 2017