Tag Archives: Hannah Moore

Civic Service at St John’s

On the 10th of September, St John’s Church, Hale was the venue for the Civic Service for Farnham Town Mayor, Councillor Michael Hodge.

The service was attended by Mike’s family, friends, fellow mayors and community representatives. During the service Mike Hodge committed to serve the people of Farnham to the best of his ability during his year in office.

‘Serving others’ was the theme of the afternoon which the Reverend Hannah Moore explored in her address stating, “it is through service that we either discover our vocation or fulfil it as we stop focusing on our self and start to focus on the needs around us.”

After the formal service, Mayor Hodge said, “I would like to thank everybody who came to the civic service. My thanks also go to the Reverends Hannah Moore and Michael Hopkins, the organist, the choir and everybody else who contributed towards the success of the service.” Reverend Hannah Moore added her thanks to those of Mr Hodge commenting “it was an honour and a privilege for St John’s to host the Civic Service as it provided the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale with another opportunity to play it’s part within the Farnham community.”

Reverend Hannah Moore will continue to serve the Mayor during his year in office as she acts as his Chaplain. When asked what this role entails she commented, “it means being available to be a listening ear for the Mayor, should he need it during the year and occasionally leading prayers at the Town Council meetings.”

After the service, canapes and refreshments were served from the Sumner Room, which was named after Bishop Charles Sumner, the former Bishop of Winchester and founder of St John’s Church.

Looking forward to Priesting – My Story

Some thoughts from our curate, Hannah Moore, as she approached her priesting.

I had my call to ordained ministry twenty years ago. I had been recently married and was pursuing my teaching career. One Sunday as a knelt at the communion rail to receive communion I had a real sense of God saying, “Hannah one day you will do this.” My response was “oh okay” and then I put it to the back of my mind. I got on with starting a family, moving back to the UK from South Africa and setting up my own business.

Some fifteen years later, now with two children, I was approached by my local vicar and asked whether I had considered discerning a vocation to ordained ministry.

As he said it, I got butterflies in my tummy and felt electrified. The long forgotten memory from the altar rail came flooding back.

My circumstances twenty-three years ago were so different from today. Pursuing a calling to ordained ministry at that time would probably been easier as I only had myself and my husband to consider. I certainly would not have had to learn juggle as much as I have over the last few years – being a wife, a mother, my theological studies, closing a business, working in a church placement and starting my curacy.

However, I have to trust in God’s timing. He knew the right time for me to answer the call he had placed on my life, he understands the impact it has had on my family.
Not long after my ordination as a deacon last year, I was assisting at a funeral. I was walking in front of the coffin, leading the family to the graveyard when I had that “aha moment”. A sense of confirmation that I am doing what God wants me to do with my life. I was so excited in that moment that I wanted to do a Charlie Chaplin leap into the air but that would have been inappropriate, so I calmly lead the procession across the road.

The past year since my ordination as a deacon in the Church of England has been a time of learning and growing. I have been able to conduct funerals, baptisms and be involved in various other ministries in the Parish.

By being ordained a priest it will also give me the opportunity to journey with couples towards their wedding day. I am looking forward to performing my first wedding in August which should be a joyful occasion for everyone involved. As I continue my curacy as a priest I am looking forward to finding opportunities to engage with my local community on Sandy Hill and explore plans for extending the community engagement in St John’s Church in Hale.

I am excited and a bit nervous as I will be able to preside at communion. During a communion service the church remembers Jesus’ actions during the Last Supper. Jesus took bread and wine and shared it with his disciples, and he encourages us to continue to do this as we remember his death on the cross and his resurrection. I am looking forward to fulfilling a priestly role at the altar table which draws people closer to God as they remember Jesus actions at the Last Supper, his death and resurrection. In performing this role I believe I am fulfilling what was said to me all those years ago – “Hannah one day you will do this.”

I wanted to finish with a short reflection I have written since my ordination it is called:

‘Just About’

I don’t know about you but I live in a world of “just about.”
I am “just about” on top of my housework.
I am “just about” at the bottom of the ironing pile.
I am “just about” doing all the mum things I need to do.
I am “just about” spending enough time with my husband to keep our relationship safe.
I “just about” manage a weekly catch up with my family.
I “just about” manage to see my pre-ordination friends.
I “just about” play golf weekly to do a bit of exercise.
I have “just about” enough time and energy I need to fulfil my role as a curate.
And then, there are those moments that are “just about” GOD.
Without these valuable “just about” moments…… all the other “just abouts” would be impossible.
Maybe you are “just about” doing what God wants you to do but maybe you are not. Maybe he is calling to something completely different – you will never know unless you push at the door.

Reflections on my ordination

And then the Bishop laid his hands on me….

The moment on the 3rd of July at my ordination when Bishop Andrew laid his hand on my head and asked God to “Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant Hannah for the office and work of a deacon in your Church” was the culmination of a journey of discernment towards ordination which began 20 years ago. This journey began at the altar rail in St Paul’s Anglican Chapel in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. On receiving communion one Sunday morning I had a sense that God was calling me to ordained ministry. I put it out of my mind to focus on my teaching career and having a family. About 6 years ago my then vicar, David Price, asked me if I had ever considered being ordained and that earlier prompting come flooding back.

The journey has intensified over the last three years during my formal training at St Mellitus Theological College. Training towards ordination is a process which is designed to stretch and grow you, it makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, it unpacks everything you believe and it puts you back together – hopefully stronger than before. It is a process which involves many hellos and a fair few goodbyes. It has meant moving and redefining who I am, how I see myself and how others see me.

From the Thursday before my ordination on the 3rd July, I was on a retreat with 12 other ordinands at St Columba’s House, Woking. The initial part of the retreat was at Charterhouse School Chapel to run through the ordination service. During this rehearsal, I had walked around in my cassock for the first time. I had butterflies in my tummy and it all felt slightly surreal.

After the rehearsal we headed off to the retreat house. The next 36 hours was to be in silence. It is amazing how quickly you develop into a community even in silence. You have to figure out how to attract someone’s attention if you want them to pass the salt and pepper. Humans have this built in desire to laugh and when you are in silence the silliest things, which under normal circumstance you might not notice, suddenly seem funny. One of the other ordinands is a Wine Sommelier and he conducted a wine tasting in silence but with lots of exaggerated sound effects which was very amusing.

My family maintained “radio silence” during the retreat and this was challenging because I missed them and also there was a realisation that this was something I had to do on my own with God. The three days of retreat were a blessed time with God that I spent reflecting on my journey to this point and looking forward with excitement and trepidation to the road ahead.

Waiting to be ordained evoked memories of the feelings of expectation I experienced before my children were born – I knew my life was about to change, I had been preparing for this moment but I had no idea what to expect and how much things would change. These feelings were intensified as we waved goodbye to the first group of Ordinands who set off for the 10am service.

I arrived at Charterhouse School Chapel at the same time as Michael, Rachael and Reuben but we had been told that we could only go and greet our families after the service so I had to wave to them across the field.

Whilst getting dressed in my cassock and surplice there was lots of huffing and puffing as I tried to calm my nerves! One last pit stop to the toilet before getting into the procession and then we were off. Whilst walking down the crowded aisle I picked out the faces of family and friends who had come to support me, I don’t think I stopped smiling.

Right up to the moment Bishop Andrew laid his hands on me, I expected a flood of tears, in fact I was even clutching a tissue, just in case. But this did not happen. Instead, I felt overwhelmed by a sense of God’s presence and a feeling of complete peace and calm.
Afterwards, being greeted by so many well wishers was incredible and the welcome the family and I have received in the Parish was wonderful.

Much later, once my close family had headed home, I sat on the settee and simply exhaled. I was brought back to earth with a bump as Rachael needed help with her homework, Mike needed some help tidying up the kitchen and Reuben needed to be encouraged into bed. This is what the next part of my journey in ordained ministry will be – balancing ministry and family life – something which all Moore family will be learning together.

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Introducing our Curate Hannah

My name is Hannah Moore and in a few weeks time I will be moving into your Parish with my family to work and worship with you.

I was born in Bedfordshire, but at the age of five, I moved to South Africa with my parents and sister for a short work contract of two years. We ended up staying for 23 years. I met my husband, Michael, whilst at school and we have been married for 20 years. We have two children, Rachael and Reuben.  Michael is a teacher and works at a secondary school in Fleet.

I qualified as a teacher and taught at a primary school before I had Rachael. I have also worked in the private sector on the planning and development of a Titanium mine. When we returned to England, I set up my own business in partnership with my sister and my mum running After School Craft clubs, which I did until I started my training for ministry.

Over the last three years, I have been studying at St Mellitus Theological College in London, as well as working for the Church on the Heath where I was training in ministry,  and at  All Saints Church in Fleet as a Children’s and Families worker.

When I am not working I love to watch sport. I am mad about cricket so enjoy watching England and I try to keep up with where Liverpool FC is in the Premier League table – not close enough to the top for my liking! I can also be seen out and about walking our two dogs (and the cats that often come as well.) I also love to relax with a good book or challenge myself with a jigsaw puzzle. Now that I have finished a very intense period of my academic studies I am looking forward to being a happy strummer on my guitar again.

Please continue to pray for my family as we prepare to move. Moving can be stressful, so I am keeping the words of my favourite Psalm in mind during this time as we sort out cupboards and say our goodbyes in Fleet., “I lift up my eyes to the hills from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord” (Ps121).

Michael, Rachael, Reuben and I are really excited to be moving into your parish and getting to know you all.

Hannah Moore

**Hannah is being ordained at Charterhouse on 3rd July at 3pm – all welcome. All welcome to come back to St George’s straight afterwards for bring and share meal – at about 5:30pm.


Welcoming our new Curate

For those who don’t know, this summer we are getting a curate in the parish, Hannah Moore. So what is a curate?

She will be a curate in training, which means that she will come to us, newly ordained, to undertake the equivalent of an apprenticeship for three or four years before moving on to have a parish of her own. Whilst training with us Hannah will also have training from the diocese and will have to undertake various assignments for them, consequently her time will not be solely spent on the parish.

On 3rd of July Hannah will be ordained deacon in the Cathedral. This means that she will be known as the Reverend Hannah Moore, and will wear a dog collar (and it will take most of the three years just to get used to that – and people saying “don’t swear in front of the vicar”), but will not be able to undertake certain tasks, primarily presiding at Holy Communion. However, she will be leading other services, including funerals.

A year later she will then be ordained priest in the Cathedral, at which point she will be able to do everything in the churches.

Hannah will be living with her family in the curate’s house on Sandy Hill and will be travelling round the churches and other places with Lesley and I in the early days, before branching out on her own. Please do make her welcome when she arrives in June.

Alan Crawley