If you want John’s attention shout “Reverend Corporal 22880105 SIR!”
After doing National Service in the Royal Army ordnance John turned his collar round at 24 and began his ministry as a curate in Bray. He came to St John the Baptist in Cookham Dean in 1971 and retires in April all the way to Golden Ball lane!
Things were very different 30 years ago when there were still villagers living here who’d worked the land, been cherry pickers or been employed as gardeners in the big houses. It’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago the magnificent big field of rape up Grubwood lane was all covered in cherry trees.
But John’s greatest delight is that despite the gentrification of Cookham Dean there are now more families with young children here than ever. The primary school where all his 4 children, and 4 grandchildren attended is now fuller than ever of Cookham Deanites.
For John the key aspect of his ministry is the pastoral work – being here for those key moments in people’s lives baptisms, weddings and funerals “You are always able to call on your parish priest”.
And, after retiring, you’ll still be able to enjoy his singing with the Maidenhead Choral society, or his participation in the Village Club.
Among the highlights of John’s bass singing have been performing the Hallelujah chorus at the Royal Albert hall and Vivaldi in the shadow of the Doge’s palace in Venice. What a treat!