Rev Canon Jo Loveridge,
Hertford SG13 8AE
I was born in Cornwall, but spent most of my childhood in Cheltenham. My father was a church organist and my mother, who is Dutch, loved reading Bible stories to my brother and myself and perhaps as a result of this upbringing we both felt called to be ordained (my brother is Rector of Hitchin!).
Whilst reading Theology at King's College, university of London, I felt sure that the Church of England would make the decision to ordain women but the decision was made that the time was not right. The Dean of Kings had patronisingly said; "well, why not marry a priest and become a clergy wife?" and although I had no intention of following this advice I found myself in love with Doug, who was working in a parish in Brighton and so we married in my final year at University.
I qualified as a teacher at the London Institute of Education and taught at North London Collegiate School, an independent girls' school. Jon, Pete and Tom were born and Doug moved to become Vicar of Hurst in Berkshire. I taught at The Forest, a boys' comprehensive school nearby (quite a contrast to the previous school), for over ten years, until the Church at last decided that women could be ordained. After selection for the ministry I studied for a Masterís degree at Oxford and then became curate at Earley St Peter's, a large church with a good choral tradition whilst there I was also chair of Churches Together.
Four years later I became the Priest-in-Charge of Burghfield in Berkshire and a year later I was invited by the Bishop to become the Rural Dean. Doug, my husband, moved on from parish ministry to hospital chaplaincy at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. After another four years I moved here to Hertford in 2007 and Doug moved to a chaplaincy role at Chelmsford Hospital and is now Lead Chaplain at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Alban's Hospitals.
Over the years I have come to realise the value of sharing the Gospel, of working together in the community, and the importance of high standards in the church's worship and I believe that we can work together to further these aims and to share the love of God in Hertford.
Jo is also Team Rector of the Hertford Team
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