Local Ministry Logo

Dymock was at the forefront of the 'Local Ministry Team' movement, having had ministry shared by Ordained and Lay persons for over 35 years. This shared concept was formalised by our diocese into a 'Local Ministry Teams' (LMT) where spiritual care and management of the parish is shared by both ordained priests and lay persons acting together.

We currently have one full-time priest (the vicar) who is in charge of the 'United Benefice of the Leadon Vale' and four retired clergy who assist - one retired from a career in commerce, one retired from a career as a Teacher and two retired full-time priests. There are also 3 'Lay Readers' and 1 'Lay Pastor', as well as several regular members of the congregation who regularly work with the Team. There are also 4 honorary PCC Appointees: Secretary, Treasurer, Organist/Choirmaster and Bell Tower Captain. (Return to top)

The Ministry Team serves the whole of the Benefice, which comprises 9 parishes with 10 churches, and 4 Church of England primary schools.

For details of Dymock's officers, click here: Priests, Readers, Lay Pastors, Churchwardens, PCC Appointees
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Picture, Rev'd Kat Mepham

Vicar: We haven't had a vicar for some 3.5 years so are pleased to announce that the Rev'd Kat Mepham has accepted our invitation to become our vicar, taking up her post on 22 June 2020.

Kat writes: I'm so excited to have been asked to be Priest in Charge of the Leadon Vale Benefice. I'm married to Ali who is also a priest, but is going to take a sabbatical for a bit. I have 5 wonderful children - Molly (18) who has just started Uni, Tom (16) who loves drama, Nat (13) who is a bit of a deep thinker, Jem (11) who never sits still and Eliza (8) who rules the roost.

I like taking the dogs for long country walks and being outdoors. Ali and I enjoy opening our house and inviting people over for food and fellowship. We love being part of community and we are really looking forward to getting to know the villages and becoming part of the Leadon Vale Community. My favourite food is probably curry and I love experimenting, although that can be difficult as I have to be gluten free. I love pub quizzes (and used to be part of a team ) escape rooms, real board games and fun!

Church-wise I've been involved in pretty much everything over the years. I love seeing the church community and village community intertwine, all wrapped up in the love of Jesus. The whole family are so excited about moving into the Benefice - we look forward to meeting you. (Return to top)
Assistant Priests
Picture, Revd Andrew Perry

The Rev'd Andrew Perry is married to Janet and they have two daughters. He became a lay member of the Dymock Local Ministry Team (LMT) at its formal inception in 1981 and was ordained in 1994 as a Non-Stipendiary Minister (NSM*) and was licensed as an Associate Priest to the Benefice as a whole until he retired as an NSM in 2014. He now has the 'Bishop's Permission to Officiate' so still takes Services and helps in the Benefice.(Return to top)

Before he was ordained, Andrew trained as an Agriculturist and worked first as a manager of farms, but then for 20 years as a Grain Trader, managing a local grain co-operative before he retired from business. He was heavily involved with the Rotary Club of Ledbury's 'Tobago Diabetic Foot-care Project' to assist medics in the Caribbean to be aware of, and treat, those suffering from Diabetes, thereby reducing the previously high number of foot and leg amputations per year... and is fanatical about his lawn! (Return to top)

*NSMs are now part of a larger group called SSMs - Self-Supporting Ministers. They are full priests but earn their living and practice their ministry by working in industry and commerce. NSMs are a nation-wide ministry so can be asked to serve anywhere, which may mean they have to move house and job, although that's unusual as they usually serve in a benefice or parish near to where they live. (Return to top)
Picture, Revd Jill Bond

The Rev'd Jill Bond was married in 1967 and has two children, Oliver and Victoria. Jill taught in various primary schools, first in London and then in Northamptonshire before her children were born, and then again between 1967 and 1994 after her children were themselves at school. She moved to Gloucestershire in 1995 and trained as a Lay Reader specialising in ministry to children and was licensed as such in 1998. (Return to top)

Jill has been much involved in work with children, particularly in the local village primary school, as well as in more general ministry. In 2004 she attended training again for ordination and was ordained as a priest in 2007. As an Ordained Local Minister (OLM*) Jill served her curacy here in the Benefice of the Leadon Vale, where she was an Associate Priest until she retired as an OLM in 2015. She now has the 'Bishop's Permission to Officiate' so still takes Services and helps in the Benefice. (Return to top)

*OLMs are also part of the larger group called SSMs - Self-Supporting Ministers. They are full priests and like NSMs earn their living and practice their ministry by working in industry, commerce and after retirement, but unlike NSMs they are not a nation-wide ministry but are licensed specifically to the parish or benefice where they live, although they can occasionally officiate elsewhere for a special reason. (Return to top)
Picture, Revd Richard Franklin

The Rev'd Canon Richard Franklin is married to Ann, a retired Psychologist. They have two grown up children; Kate married to Jan with two sons in Bristol, and Thomas who lives in Berlin. Richard was born and grew up in Cardiff and Ann in Aberaeron and London. (Return to top)

Richard was ordained in 1978 and was curate of Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire. He moved to Dudley as Educational Chaplain to the Group Ministry, then back to parish work as vicar of Wollescote (Stourbridge), Fareham, Hants and finally Luton, where he was Area Dean and Canon of St Albans Abbey. Richard retired from full time ministry in 2013 and is now Canon Emeritus of St. Albans, with Bishop's Permission to Officiate in Gloucester diocese, so he still helps in our Benefice. (Return to top)

After a lifetime of town dwelling, he and Ann looked for retirement in a rural area and they are thoroughly enjoying it, despite the feeling that they have retired from one full time job to to another. (Return to top)