Christchurch is fortunate to be served by two ministers at present. Our minister in pastoral charge is Rev Kate Cook, a minister in the Methodist Trinity Circuit. She is assisted by an Associate Baptist Minister, Rev John Rackley.
Rev Kate Cook
Kate was invited by the Leicester Trinity Circuit to be the minister of Christchurch in March 2022 until September 2024. She has previously served in the Cannock Chase and Telford Circuits and is now semi-retired. She is a tutor for local preachers in training and is a chaplain to the safeguarding training courses in the circuit.
Kate’s working life before ministry revolved around education and music. She taught in secondary schools and has trained youth choirs, worked as a professional classical singer and has had the thrill of conducting 550 children at the Royal Albert Hall. She also loves telling people about the time she met Sir Paul McCartney.
In her free time she enjoys reading, the theatre, cinema and concerts with her husband Dennis, and spending time with her daughters and wider family.
Rev John Rackley
John has been a minister at Christchurch for the last six years. His responsibilities include preaching and developing the discipleship formation of the congregation. He has served churches in Cardiff, Buckinghamshire, Bath and Leicester. He has also worked as a bus conductor, a secondary school teacher and a presenter on religious programmes for BBC Radio.
His Christian journey began in Devon where he was brought up by a Baptist father and Anglican mother. He was baptised as a believer having found Jesus a fascinating person who was and is still able to create a relationship with God for him. He was a member of the Iona Community whose Peace and Justice Witness continues to be deeply influential and after a number of visits to the West Bank John has a deep commitment to the needs of the Palestinian people especially through Embrace the Middle East, a charity which works to help marginalised and vulnerable communities in the Middle East.
Now in semi-retirement John spends his time enjoying time with his family with his wife Mary, writing notes for the Bible Reading Fellowship, hill-walking, travelling around the country following his lifetime’s enthusiasm for the fortunes of Plymouth Argyle FC, in complete contrast leading retreats and quiet days and acting as a supervisor for spiritual directors. He finds great hope in the words of the apostle Paul that ‘for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face’.
John has his own blog here: windingquest.wordpress.com