Introducing the Archdeacon of Oakham

On the 6th February 2022 I became the Archdeacon of Oakham, living in Peterborough and serving the parishes of 6 Deaneries – Peterborough, Oundle, Higham, Kettering, Corby and Rutland. I must be new as I’m still counting my time in weeks – rather than months!

This is not a part of the world which I know as I’ve spent the last 10 years as the Vicar of between 5 and 9 villages in East Leicestershire which I really enjoyed, I was near the retreat house Launde Abbey, shared between Leicester and Peterborough Diocese so I still feel at home when I go to Launde Abbey although life generally now has less village life about it, less in the way of fetes and village events, less working out how to get the large Christmas Tree into the small Church building and less sheep from my upstairs windows.

I am someone who loves being outside, particularly in the countryside, I’m happiest when walking long distances – a good day is about 15 miles on a fresh, sunny and not too hot day – if there is a coffee and cake somewhere then so much the better. On the rare occasion that the weather is too wild for me to be outside (I really do most weathers – all you need is good kit!) then I can be found at my sewing machine – I made my daughter’s prom dress with her and the waistcoats for my youngest son’s wedding with him as well as one or two jackets for myself which you’ll spot me wearing when I’m out and about.

I’m settling into Archdeacon’s life and getting out into our parishes, being out on a Sunday morning and midweek evenings meeting people is one of my favourite parts of the role, I have a heart for Mission having a background particularly in Mission and Evangelism with young people and in rural places particularly. I enjoy leading collective worship in schools and there’s nothing better than the danger of standing in front of a primary school class and saying ‘any questions?’

I am looking forward to the places I will get to visit in the next few months with all their variety and the people I will be meeting – I am sure there will be exciting new places, challenging new questions and things I can’t even imagine!

Alison Booker
Archdeacon of Oakham