Diocese of Portsmouth

    New priest appointed for Titchfield

    22 May 2024

    WHEN the Rev Penny Thatcher starts work in Titchfield, she’ll bring with her some expertise in developing the spirituality of older people.

    Penny has been appointed as associate priest for St Peter’s, Titchfield, and will be licensed on June 6. She was previously a curate in Chandlers Ford, having been ordained as a deacon in 2021 and a priest in 2022.

    She will work alongside the Rev Ian Meredith, vicar of Portchester, who has also been appointed as priest-in-charge of Titchfield.

    And Penny’s curacy has included working with a Southampton-based Christian charity called Caraway, which seeks to promote the spirituality of older people. Her experiences fit in well with our diocese’s focus on caring for their spirituality via Anna Chaplaincy.

    “Chandlers Ford has been in vacancy, so I feel as though I’ll be arriving with a broad experience of parish ministry,” she said. “I’m interested in working in a community where the church is at the heart of things, and I like the fact that there are lots of links between the village and the church.

    “Before I was ordained, I was involved in care home ministry and my interest progressed from there. I talked about the possibility of sharing my curacy, half with the diocese and half with Caraway. It meant that I spent time in memory cafes, in care homes, and running courses for the carers of those living with dementia. We also kick-started a toolbox resource to help those affected by loneliness."

    Penny grew up in a Christian household in Southampton, and went to university at Royal Holloway where she met her husband Ian. She worked in Human Resources and they lived in Egham for 20 years.

    They moved to Chandlers Ford 19 years ago, where their three children – now aged 27, 25 and 21 – spent most of their childhood. And it was a dream that prompted Penny to explore ordination.

    “I had a dream that I was holding a baby and a voice was saying that I had to feed the baby,” she said. “I talked to our associate priest who had had the same dream on the same night. She knew it was meant for someone, but didn’t know who.

    “I talked to my closest friends and some clergy and felt this was a vocation – that the baby was the Church. At first I thought it might be for licensed lay ministry, and then I was accepted for ordination training. I then wondered if I was called to chaplaincy, but last summer I found myself being nudged in the direction of parish ministry. So here I am.

    “I’m looking forward to getting the know the community of Titchfield and seeing what God has in store. It’s a new season for me and for the parish, so let’s see what God wants to do.”

    Penny’s licensing service will take place at 6:30pm on June 6, in St Peter’s Church, Titchfield, and will be led by the Archdeacon of the Meon, the Ven Kathryn Percival. All are welcome.

    St Peters Church

    Church Street, Titchfield Village, PO14 4AG

    More info

    Upcoming Events

    More events