Bradwell Church has said an emotional goodbye to minister, the Rev Andy Jowitt, who has moved on after 17 years to take up a role with A Rocha, a Christian based conservation and environmental organisation.
Ruth and Jane Jowitt join the Rev Andy Jowitt on the garden bench they received at their leaving lunch. They are seen with a photograph of Bradwell Church taken by church member, Paul Lund.
Andy and his wife, Jane, are going to Sudbury in Suffolk where he will be voluntary Community Engagement Officer at Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve.
Members of the congregation at Bradwell – also known as St Lawrence – presented Andy and Jane with several gifts at a lunch at the Cruck Barn, Bradwell Abbey, before a farewell service in church on October 15.
The service was attended by six Christian Motorcyclists Association members who roared up to the church on their machines. Andy is a biker.
The gifts included a ‘banana’ shaped garden bench, a photograph of the church on canvas taken by church member, Paul Lund, a book of messages from congregation members and a cheque.
Apart from his role as minister at Bradwell – and at Cross and Stable Church, Downs Barn as well since 2012 – Andy has been a governor at Priory Common First School, Bradwell, and Summerfield School, Bradwell Common.
“I have been a regular schools visitor doing assemblies at Heelands First, Priory Common, Bradwell Village and Summerfield – as well as schools in the Cross and Stable pastoral area,” he said.
Andy was also once a trustee of the Bridgebuilder Trust working in city schools to promote the Christian story. It runs Christmas and Easter Cracked for pupils.
Rev Andy Jowitt with members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
“We’ve had a lot of fun presenting these at Bradwell Church. I’ve appeared in various guises, such as Mr Egghead and the Nutty Professor,” said Andy.
“I was honorary secretary of the Bradwell Memorial Hall Management Committee from 2001-2007.”
Andy and Jane oversaw the church’s Wednesday Chatterbox group for parents, grandparents and children.
“It’s been a lot of fun and some of the children are now grown up,” added Andy.
Andy will take many memories from his time in Bradwell.
“I have to include events on the Glebe Field and our Beacon parties – such as the ones for the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees and the Royal Wedding. It’s the people who make the memories, and we thank you for your friendship.”
One traumatic rather than funny memory sticks in Andy’s mind.
“I shaved my beard off in public, raising £1,200 for charity. I kept my promise to my daughter and grew it again. It’s now genuinely silver!”
Daughter Ruth has recently graduated from Winchester University where she studied history, theology and ethics. She is working as a dementia care assistant while she plans her future. Ruth who came to Milton Keynes as a four year old was also presented with a cheque.
Finally Andy paid tribute to Jane saying: “I couldn’t have done it without her. She’s done so much, helping me and in her own right. She’s a great listener. Her trips to Heelands shops always take so long because of the number of people she stops to chat to. We’ve been a team together.”