Our Parish Priest
Spiritual Biography of the
Reverend Paul Frederick Blanch.
I was raised in a committed and active Anglican family whose daily life was immersed in the life of the local church and parish. I was one of those fortunate children who was taught to pray at home, but also led by example to worship with the family Sunday by Sunday at the Parish Mass in our active and lively village church.
My early years from the age of five years were further influenced by attendance at a Church School. Here our parish priest came into school and celebrated Mass with incense and all the ritual he could muster. The spectacle and drama of this Mass took hold of me immediately, exciting my senses, that they went to the heart of my soul.
I can look back to these days as powerful, profound and spiritually heady! These spiritually developing years would coincide with my adolescent development, and as I matured, so my faith moved forward in leaps and bounds. At sixteen, I had volunteered for active service with the Church Army through their exciting young people’s scheme of Christian service. This experience took me to work in their social care department caring for the elderly over a period of one year. This brought together for me the balance of an active faith with “hands on” service, and it is an experience I will never forget.
Throughout my education from School to University my faith has remained central to me, but not without its development and change. Throughout my academic studies I have found the need to question, to investigate and become more open to the pertinent theological issues of our time, and therefore while my love of scripture is as deep and powerful as ever, I approach the task of interpretation with a greater degree of openness, and feel the need to be aware that the “Word of God” is also being heard within the Church in other complimentary ways. Hence, I am a strong advocate of the Anglican balance of Scripture, The Tradition of the Church and Reason.
My journey to priesthood came to fruition in my late twenties, and my time at Chichester Theological College was a very significant experience. This formed me for parish ministry in what has now been a very diverse and exciting ministry.
My spiritual biography is ongoing, acutely aware, as I am that each day wonderful new things emerge, new ways forward become evident. I am passionate about my faith, excited about the future, and I enjoy the journey of discovery that God reveals to me.
I have served my thirty three year ministry so far in parishes located in Derbyshire, Co Durham, Scotland’s capital City, rural Suffolk, the Staffordshire Potteries, rural fenland in Lincolnshire and the glorious USA – both in upstate New York and Northern California and now to the seaside in Ramsgate to be with you the people of Holy Trinity. Both Maggie and I are very excited about this new chapter in our lives, and as we pray for you, we ask that you pray for us.
Fr Paul F Blanch. 2019