Penny was born and brought up in Yorkshire: specifically the West Riding of Yorkshire, first the Calder Valley and then Doncaster. So Yorkshire is close to her heart and a love of its hills and dales. Having retained her Yorkshire accent, she confesses to calling a spade a spade!
Penny studied History at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne: her first choice would have been theology, but women weren’t able to be ordained into the Church of England at that time.
She was (briefly) an auditor and then a research historian; very useful skills for being an Archdeacon! She started a family which grew and grew until there were six children.
Penny has moved house seven times in 13 years, from North to South, mainly living in villages or market towns, in support of her husband’s career. While raising her family, she studied for an Open University degree in Psychology, specialising in child development (acknowledging her children and other family members who were willing participants in psychological investigations for assignments).
She trained for ordination with the South East Institute for Theological Education, which, she remembers, “being peripatetic, sent us to such wondrous places such as Aylesford Friary, The King Charles Hotel in Gillingham and Kent University in Canterbury for residential weekends.”
Penny then served her curacy at St John’s, St Leonard’s on Sea, just along from Hastings in East Sussex. Penny describes it as a “slightly run-down seaside town with a royal past in Burton St Leonard’s, and a hopeful future in the artistic refugees from London”. She then moved to the contrasting Becontree Estate, in Dagenham, as Team Rector.
Her next move was into rural Essex doing ‘Turnaround’ ministry: working with parishes which needed help, advice and “quite a lot of TLC”. She then moved on to West Stafford with two cats: and set up the house to suit changing family circumstances and to be the base for the job of Archdeacon.
Her passions are:
Mission. Penny says, “We have Good News, Very Good News, so why not share it?”
Social justice. She loves Jesus’ assurance that he came “to bring Good News to the poor.”
The Church. One of her favourite Bible passages is Psalm 27 v 4.
Family, and cats, and extreme reading.
Penny asks that you please pray for her as she prays for you, the people she has been called to serve.
Contact the Sherborne Office
Archdeacon of Sherborne
PA to the Archdeacons of Dorset and Sherborne