SENDING ADRIAN TO COVENTRY
After ten years, firstly as Curate and then Rector of St Giles’, Adrian Guthrie has now left Ickenham to take up a new post as Rector of Alcester Minster, near Coventry. He, Juliette and their three children, who have endeared themselves to the Ickenham community in their time here, will be much missed.
Adrian was born and raised in Stanmore, one of six children. His father was a Theologian so church life and bible study were familiar themes. A first career teaching Design and Technology led to jobs in Pinner and Stanmore, in Weald College and eventually as Head of Business Development at Harrow College. Meanwhile at Emmanuel Church youth group he had met Juliette; they married in 1981 and in the years that followed Adam, Joanna and Rachel were born.
“2000 was a critical year for me,” said Adrian, “God’s call to join the ministry was growing stronger at the same time as a chance to take voluntary redundancy occurred, in line with a prophecy given to me some two years earlier. Much to the college’s surprise, I grasped the opportunity.” So, in his early forties, he started ministerial training in Oxford, travelling home at weekends. Midway through the course he was posted to a church for four weeks’ experience - St Giles’ in Ickenham. “Not only that”, he said, “but it was during Ickenham Festival year, so I had a chance to see what Ickenham does so well. But I had no idea I’d be coming back until Philip Robinson contacted me about becoming Curate.”
He remembers his first assignment as St Giles’ Curate in June 2003, speaking at a Jack and Jill service, accompanied by a large cardboard whale, and talking about how Jonah learned to obey God! To everyone’s delight, after Philip’s retirement, Adrian’s promotion to Rector was announced, and he was inducted on 4th July 2005. Why, even the US Naval Base celebrated with a fireworks display that day, in what is now Ickenham Park!
A further eight years on, and there were farewell celebrations in the Church Hall after Adrian’s last service. The full house showed how highly he and Juliette are regarded, as did the presentations of gifts from the St Giles’ congregation, the URC and some special souvenirs especially from the Junior Church. Keith Arnold reminded us of how much Adrian had achieved – not just the ‘big’ projects such as establishing Youth Work, Start and Alpha courses and the Fun Afternoon, but the ‘smaller’ individual tasks of visiting, counselling and praying with people; for many had said what a great comfort he had been to them in times of trouble. Naomi Webb praised the support, love and care of Juliette for Adrian, and remarked on how we had all benefited indirectly. (“Behind every great man...”)
Adrian and family have hugely enjoyed their time here too. “Ickenham has been a wonderful place to live, amongst people who are positive about their community and who give a lot of time and effort to make things happen within the neighbourhood, the schools and the church,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with our partner church, Ickenham URC and consider the Covenant a real strength and very appropriate to Ickenham. CLICK Rukiga has been a fantastic community project and I was very fortunate to have taken part in a visit there. And it is always a privilege to be involved with people at key moments in their lives and hear the stories of how God has been active there.
“Here at St Giles’ I’ve been blessed to work alongside a very dedicated leadership team and a huge number of very talented people. Juliette and I would like to thank everyone for their support and interest and we look forward to hearing stories of God blessing you all in the future.”
As we send Adrian off to Coventry, we wish him God’s blessing too, in this next phase of his ministry.