New vicar ‘licensed to play’

Published: Monday May 11, 2015

Joanne WetherallA vicar who loves to play is starting a new role as Children and Families Officer for the Diocese of Gloucester next month.

Playing will be a big part of Joanne Wetherall’s job, as she works with parishes to develop the faith of the next generation.

Joanne said: “I will have the privilege of being one of the few clergy who are ‘licensed to play”.  This makes the role sound frivolous, but actually, as children know well, play involves bringing all our imagination, creativity and experiences together to help us explore and find meaning.

“This is why the role of Children’s and Families Officer is so exciting to me, because it means there are no limitations on how we enable children to discover and develop their relationship with God and the world, and to find the roots of a spiritual framework to grow and live by.”

Working with children has always been a big part of Joanne’s life. Prior to ordination training in 2002, she spent 25 years as an Early Years Practitioner.

She comes to the area from the Diocese of St Albans where she is currently a Team Vicar and Joanne has also served in Guildford Diocese.

Sea swimming, live music and writing are some of the ways Joanne likes to spend her free time. She and her husband Simon have a dinghy in the garage, which she is hoping to learn how to sail in the near future. Joanne and Simon have two adult daughters, Rachel and Clare.

The Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow will license Joanne to this new role in a special service at Gloucester Cathedral on Tuesday 9 June, 4pm.

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