The new vicar of St Mary’s church was recently appointed. Revd Rachel Wakefield comes to us from St Francis in Welwyn Garden City, where she has been working as assistant curate for three years.
Prior to that she had been a Lay Reader at St Nicholas Harpenden, and she has spent much of her life in this part of Hertfordshire. She has worked extensively in media and communications, and music teaching.
Together with her husband and two older children, we look forward to her getting stuck into life in Redbourn.
What attracted you to Redbourn?
My family and I used to live in Markyate so know the village fairly well and understand what a wonderful place it is. There have been changes, the co-op has moved and a few shops have shuffled around, but it still has that wonderful character of a village which I am drawn to.
I was born in Cornwall, and although I spent some of my childhood in north London, it is that Cornish sense of community I grew up with which appeals to me and seems so evident in a village like Redbourn. The only thing I could do with adding is the sea, but you can’t have everything!
When did you first get the vicar bug?
That’s a long story, but I was finally encouraged into the discernment process for ordination to the priesthood not long after being licensed as a Lay Reader in 2014. I really only went to keep people quiet as I was sure Reader Ministry was what I was called to….but here I am!
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
Can I pick 3? 1) Being one of the producers for the radio coverage of the 2001 Wimbledon Men’s Final between Pat Rafter and Goran Ivanisevic. It was extraordinary as due to the weather (before the roof was installed) the match had rolled over into a third week and Ivanisevic was a wild card entrant.
Just before they walked onto court, I had to take some information to the commentary box, situated just by the players’ entrance. I went to leave and standing before me were these two incredible (tall) players waiting for their moment of history. I almost bumped into them as I emerged down the ladder from the commentary box.
2) I once had to commentate while being driven around Silverstone in a Ford Cosworth by an F1 test driver, but my final answer might be 3) doing the Crystal Maze with my former colleagues for our Christmas party!
How do you like to relax?
Listen to music, go to the cinema or theatre, look after my plants (and soon my garden) and when the opportunity arises sit and look out to sea.
Who would be your ideal dinner date?
I’m assuming the answer should be either a) Jesus or b) my family but assuming you want something more insightful about me, in all honesty probably my friends as we know what makes us laugh and relax.
However, if you’re looking for famous guests probably David Bowie, Grace Darling, Antonio Vivaldi, and Victoria Wood.
What luxury would you take to your desert island?
iPad (presumably solar powered) fully loaded with Kindle, Disney+, Netflix, All 4, iPlayer and Spotify. If that’s cheating, then please may I have a solar powered radio?
What have you recently watched on TV?
Ted Lasso, The Mandalorian, Wild Isles.
The licensing service is finished and the bunting cleared away. You’re installed as Vicar. So what do you do now?
Come and say hello, meet people, then ask you these same questions to find out about you! And pray…..
Looking forward to meeting you all very soon.
God Bless. Rachel
Rachel officially joins us on Monday 4th September.