Meet the Reverend Gemma - our new Rector in waiting

Rev'd Gemma Beesley

Hello from Reverend Gemma

After over a year of being empty, this summer the vicarage will become home again, to myself, my husband Jason and our little dog, as I take up the post of rector in the Bernwode Benefice. After three years of curacy in Cowley, we are looking forward to returning to rural life.

Jason and I both grew up fairly locally near Islip and Bicester, and have fond childhood memories of the hilly Bernwode countryside. We have three grown up daughters who will be regular visitors to the vicarage.

Before my curacy in Cowley I trained at Cuddesdon, whilst living in rural Oxfordshire and acting as a networker for BeSpace, the charity which enables prayer spaces in Brill school and many others. During lockdown I have really missed seeing children, so I cannot wait to get to know the younger people in the benefice!

We will be moving this summer, and I officially take up the role of rector at the licensing service on Thursday 8th July at 7.30pm (more details nearer the time.) You are likely to meet me and the dog as we get out and about exploring. Dog walking is one of my favourite activities, but I love any sort of exercise. Jason is a keen rugby player, and also enjoys cricket and Aunt Sally. We met at Ceroc and both love a dance!

Jason works in the charity sector, with particular interests in wood recycling, enablement into employment, and challenging loneliness. He is looking forward to the opportunities the benefice brings to use his skills in these areas.

It is not just Jason and I who are anticipating change. The days get longer and warmer, things sprout in the gardens and fields. The church year changes too, as we move from Lent and its solemn character, into Easter joy as we proclaim Jesus is alive!

As a nation we are anticipating a change for the better as the vaccination program continues. As we follow the government’s roadmap, I’m sure we are all hoping for a summer filled with getting back together and re-establishing our connections with one another. I am anticipating with joy being able to break bread with you, both in church and beyond at social events.

May you know the Peace of the risen Jesus this Easter.