It is people who make Christ Church the warm and welcoming community that it is. Visitors and regulars alike can expect to feel like part of the family and are encouraged to participate in whatever way they feel comfortable. Whether you want to observe from the pews, join our choir or music group, help out with coffee afterwards or get involved with our outreach initiatives, these are the faces that will become familiar to you.
Meet your Vicar
Rev Simon Heron
Reverend Canon Simon Heron joined us as Vicar of Christ Church on 6th May 2020.
Following a short-lived career as a scaffolder, and a longer one as a trader in the City of London, Simon trained for the Anglican ministry between 2005 and 2007 at Ridley Hall in Cambridge.
He served his curacy in Rochester Diocese, before moving to North Essex in 2011 where he has been Vicar of three churches and Area Dean of the Harwich Deanery.
Simon would describe himself as a classic extrovert who finds himself enthused and stimulated by being around others. He has a particular passion for seeing children and young people come to know Jesus, and finding fresh and innovative ways to communicate the gospel.
He is a keen cook and songwriter, whose ambition sometimes overshadows his talent!
Simon is married to Gill, who has been a primary school teacher and currently works with a charity providing pastoral and spiritual care in schools.
They have three children, Christopher, who is married to Megan, Benjamin and Katy.
Meet your Curate
Originally from Portsmouth, I spent my youth living in Fareham where I was a member of the local Boys’ Brigade and worshipped at Fareham Baptist Church.
At the age of 16 years and 12 days I joined the army as a Junior Leader in the Royal Armoured corps. I joined the Royal Hussars at 17 and went on my first operational tour to Belfast at 18. I spent 22 years in the army as a tank commander, adventurous training instructor and signals instructor. At the end of my military career I met Catherine who was working in Cheltenham as a nurse. We married and have two sons; Edward a paramedic and Harry a tree surgeon. I also have two daughters; Laura a teacher and Elaine a social worker.
After finishing my active military career, I became a FE teacher and then head of department. I have taught inmates in Gloucester and Bristol prisons and young Muslim women in an all-women Muslim centre. I worked for the Oxford Diocese Board of Education and helped lead a secondary school out of special measures. I retired in 2016.
Unfortunately for me, God wasn’t ready for my retirement and called me to serve as a teacher in All Saint’s Academy over in West Cheltenham. I became a Christian in 1974 in Fareham when during a dream I met Jesus at a railway station. As a young soldier, I was physically beaten for my faith by other soldiers. When I was 17 I had a vision of myself in a dog collar, but as a working-class lad who wasn’t going to do A-Levels or go to university, I tried hard to ignore it. All through my life the calling never went away.
Eventually, I gave in and trained for ministry part-time in RGH (previously WEMTEC). I am looking forward to getting to know you and worshipping and walking with you over the next few years.
Rev Eddie Carmichael
Meet your Team
Rev Mike Saunders
Licensed Reader & Weddings Administrator
Chair of Fabric
Rev Julia Hook
Christ Church Pastoral Team are here to help.
Our team consists of 13 volunteers and exists to offer support to anyone who would value it. Please don’t suffer in silence; if there’s a way in which the team could help you or someone else you know, please contact Pastoral Co-ordinator.
Outreach Support Team
Christ Church has assembled a small, flexible group of volunteers to support vulnerable and self-isolating parishioners in a variety of ways – from shopping and collecting prescriptions to phone support and sending letters.
Some of these volunteers are from the congregation whilst others have contacted Christ Church keen to do all they can to help others during times of crisis.
Whilst we are a small group, we are open to requests within the Cheltenham area.