Revd. Jonathan FroggattA Message from Revd. Jonathan Froggatt, Minister at Emmanuel-Ilfracombe from September 2018

Dear Friends,

It has been good to start getting to know you over these last few weeks. I thought that it would be good to tell you a little about me.

Rather than give the traditional chronological story of my life, I am going to talk about those things which are important to me.

First of all my family. I grew up in Dunkeswell , on the Blackdown Hills in East Devon. My parents were both local preachers and were very much part of Dunkeswell Methodist Church. My sister Alison still lives in the area, at Madford, near Hemyock. She and her husband Richard run Wildside Experience, which gives young people a taste of living outdoors and country crafts.

My wife Louise and I met in Cornwall. I was minister at Carnon Downs near Truro, whilst Louise was a teaching assistant with nine year old twin daughters, Charlotte and Morwenna. It was a steep learning curve for me to become a husband and stepfather all at the same time. Louise and I were married in 1995 and our first son Samuel was born the next year. We moved to Dursley in Gloucestershire that same year and in 1999 our second son Joseph was born. Sam is artistic and is studying Art/The History of Art at Edinburgh University. Joe has just finished his A levels and is studying a one year Foundation Course in Art at Bournemouth University. Charlotte and Morwenna are both married and we have three grandchildren, Ava, Noah and Harriet.

My faith is, of course, central to my life. Having grown up in a Christian family, I came to a personal faith in my late teens. The catalyst for this was a visit to Jamaica to visit Rev Albert Gard and his wife Mary. Their faith and the joyful worship of the Jamaican Christians made a big impression on me.

My call to the ministry came in 1985.I was at that time working as an instructor at an outdoor activity centre in Scotland. The hymn that was an important part of that call was “When I survey the wondrous cross” by Isaac Watts. It was the final lines of the last verse that particularly summed up my response to God’s love.

“Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul ,my life, my all.”

My faith today is sustained by Bible reading and the hymns and songs of faith. One of my favourite hymn writer is Timothy Dudley-Smith and I am very much enjoying discovering the new hymns in the Singing the Faith hymn book.
I have a particular interest in Christian art. My last two sabbaticals have been on this subject. During my last sabbatical I studied the Christian art of the pre Raphaelites.

I am a keen gardener and I am looking forward to talking with gardeners in the area to find out what grows well in North Devon.

Louise and I love walking. We were given the local ordnance Survey map for Christmas and we have enjoyed planning the areas we want to explore. We have a house near Truro in Cornwall which we visit whenever we can. We are slowly working our way around the Cornish coast path. Louise has worked for ten years as a special needs teaching assistant (TA) at Withycombe Raleigh Primary school. She now works at Southmead School in Braunton as a one to one TA with a child who has learning difficulties.

The ecumenical dimension has always been important in my Ministry.

I spent two years as the Chairman of Churches Together in Budleigh Salterton. During this time we began a Messy Church which involved leaders and helpers from all the local churches.
Thank you for the warm and caring welcome that you have given to Louise and I. We look forward to getting to know you better in the weeks and months ahead.

Wishing you all God’s blessing,

Jonathan

Rev Jonathan Froggatt