Celebration to mark 20 years as Reverend of St Luke’s Church in Ramsgate

Paul, Fiona and family

By Julie Leonard

On Pentecostal Sunday (May 19) Reverend Paul Worledge and his wife Fiona will celebrate being at St Luke’s Church in Ramsgate for 20 years.

People are invited to send in photos of church life from the last two decades which will go on display.

The day will also be a special ‘Gift’ event in order to raise money for two new church noticeboards. After the 11am service, a celebration barbecue for Paul and Fiona will be held.

Paul said: “In 2004, I came for an interview to become ‘Vicar’ at St Luke’s. When I came away from the interview, I had a really strong sense that this is where I should be. Fiona and I arrived in May of that year with our three children under five and one on the way. Twenty years later, the children have all grown up and left Thanet, but Fiona and I are still here.

“St. Luke’s was built in 1876 in a field on the outskirts of Ramsgate, the town rapidly grew and the church soon found itself in the midst of it. The first vicar, Revd. Whiting was here for around 30 years.

“Over the last 20 years, I have taken hundreds of services and preached probably over 1,000 sermons, experiencing the joys of many baptisms, confirmations and weddings. Sadly, I have taken the funerals for three under 16 members of the church in my time.

“On a lighter note, once, at a funeral for a lady who had been very advanced in years, I was about to start the eulogy, when my phone went off. It was rather embarrassing, but thankfully, as she was renowned for having a wonderful sense of humour, I was able to make a joke about it!

“St Luke’s has not changed much in 20 years, we are still keen to teach God’s word from the Bible, and to encourage people to discover the joy of following Jesus, with the knowledge and peace of God’s forgiveness for our sins and the wonderful hope of eternal life that this brings. Seeing people come to faith and grow in this knowledge, and the desire to serve, is what excites me most in ministry.

“St Luke’s is looking at new ways to engage with the youngest generations, and is committed to helping children and young people grow up to know Jesus. Our services are family and child friendly, and indeed, I am grateful for the way in which my children have been blessed by the church family over the years.”

With the advent of the internet and later during Covid,  services went online, and now reach a wider community with a regular ‘livestream’ at: www.stlukesramsgate.org

The Church is used once a week as a rehearsal venue for an orchestra. ‘Cafe4All’ offers hospitality to anyone who wants to pop in on Thursdays 10am – 11.30am and ‘Gather’, is a women’s ‘safe-space’ group on Fridays 12.30pm – 2.30pm. The hall can also be hired, details can be found on the website.

Revd Worledge said: “I have also taken on the role as ‘Priest in Charge’ of St George’s, Ramsgate and the two churches have begun to partner together in a number of ways.

“What does the future hold? This is a question we are considering prayerfully, and with various listening activities throughout 2024, ‘The Year of Discernment’.

“We want to be led by God, and to be true servants of Ramsgate as we seek to live for Jesus and share the joy we find in him.“

Sunday Service: 11am, St Luke’s Church, Hollicondane Road Ramsgate.

Call (01843) 592562.

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