Goodbye service to be held for long-serving St Paul’s Church and Thanet Food Link couple

Rev Pat Ellisdon and wife Debbie are leaving St Paul's after 18 years

A goodbye service will be held for St Paul’s Church vicar Rev Pat Ellisdon and wife Debbie who have been at the helm for more than 18 years.

Rev Ellisdon has been the St Paul’s vicar since 2004. Before ordination, he was a civil servant and a lay leader and preacher at a small Nottingham suburb church.

He trained at St John’s College and prior to St Paul’s in Cliftonville served his curacy just up the road at St Philip’s Church.

The parents-of-three were co-founders of Thanet Food Link, a food bank for the isle, in 2013 and Debbie set up the community meal that takes place weekly at St George’s Church in Ramsgate.

Debbie was part of the original food link planning team and coordinated the operation for seven years, with their home being the main food collection point.

At times they struggled to get into their own house due to the number of bags of tins on the doorstep! Both have been on the Board of Directors overseeing the running of operations, appealing for funds and donations, promoting the cause, the creation of the registered charity, the management of volunteers and the employment of coordinators, as well as endless transportation of food donations and parcels in their own vehicles.

During the Covid 19 pandemic they turned over the whole of the church building at St Paul’s to Thanet Food Link while it was closed to public worship. It became the hub for the distribution of vital food parcels to those in need.

The goodbye service will take place at 10.30am this Sunday (May 21) and people are invited to eat party foods afterwards – and if they can bring some even better.

The couple are going to All Saints in Canterbury and their licensing is on June 22. A spokesperson for the Parochial Church Council (PCC) said: “The PCC are sorry to see them leave but wish them well in their new adventures. Their humour will be greatly missed, as will Patrick’s worship skills as a singer and songwriter and Debbie’s organisation and quiet calm.”

1 Comment

  1. Thank you both. Your example of selfless service and recognising how a need for food has simply to be met with practical action has always been an inspiration to me.

    Using one’s home as a storage unit for tins of food to give freely to those who need it is an admirable way to behave!

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