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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

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Fr Ray Chapman - 50th Anniversary of Ordination

Christmas  2021 & New Year issue

On Sunday 21st November, Fr Ray marked the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination by celebrating the 10am Eucharist and delivering a homily on Christ the King. Thereafter the congregation adjourned to the Church Hall where there was a reception, with wine and a buffet spread. A slide show had been compiled which recounted Fr Ray’s Ministry. Trained for the Ministry at Lincoln Theological College, he was Ordained at Derby Cathedral on 29th June 1971. His first Curacy was at St John the Baptist, Dronfield. He was Curate in Charge of the outreach Church meeting in the Holmesdale Centre, Dronfield Woodhouse.

He moved to Northumberland for his second Curacy where he was in charge of St Michael and All Angels. This was linked to St Paul’s Seaton Sluice and the Church of Our Lady in the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall. It was then the property of Lord Hastings and the Hall is now owned by the National Trust.

Next Fr Ray became a Team Vicar at Chapel House in charge of the Church of the Holy Nativity. The next move was to the Parish of St Hilda’s Jesmond. While there he became Industrial Chaplain to Wills Embassy Cigarette Factory.

Fr Ray became Vicar of St Cuthbert’s Blyth and whilst here became Chaplain to the Port and Lifeboat and lifeboat crew member. As lifeboat crew he was involved in many shouts including transferring the crew and towing the burning Maral R Tanker to a safe area to burn out and wash up on the beach at Seaton Sluice.

Fr Ray trained as a nurse and specialised in Mental Health. Thirty years ago he moved to Portsmouth to work for Portsmouth Housing Trust, first as the manager of The Roberts Day Centre for Homeless Families, during which time he established two outreach centres, one at St Cuthbert’s Baffins and the second at St Jude’s Southsea. He later became their manager for the whole of their Mental Health projects.

During his time in Portsmouth diocese Fr Ray has worked as a non Stipendiary Priest and a number of other roles. His teaching roles have involved him in the training for The Bishop’s Certificate, Lay Readers, Deacons and Bereavement Counsellors. He was also the Bishop’s interim Advisor for Social Responsibility before becoming The Rural Dean’s Assistant covering many interregna including St Faith’s Havant, Holy Trinity Fareham, Christ Church Portsdown.

Eighteen years ago Fr Ray arrived at St George’s to cover the interregnum… and decided to stay, taking on the role of Honorary Assistant Priest.

The Waveney Class Lifeboat Fr Ray worked on