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‘It’s about serving the community’ - former Suffolk schoolteacher talks about his move to the ministry

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 19:17 17 September 2020

The Rev’ Andy Todd, newly-appointed deacon at St  Mary’s, Woodbridge Picture:JANICE POULSON

The Rev’ Andy Todd, newly-appointed deacon at St Mary’s, Woodbridge Picture:JANICE POULSON

Archant

A former Woodbridge schoolteacher has decided to serve his community in a new, more spiritual way.

Andy Todd was previously an English teacher at Farlingaye High School for over 15 years.

Now, however, he has left the classroom for the church pew taking early retirement to become a deacon at St Mary’s Church in Woodbridge.

The Rev Todd, as he is now known, moved to Suffolk in the late 90s having previously lived in Scotland.

“A friend of mine said go to Woodbridge,” said Rev Todd.

“We moved there and I started going to St Mary’s.”

It was during these early years in Suffolk that he felt his first calling to the profession.

“I was at St John’s the Baptist in Felixstowe and that was when it was made clear to me,” said Rev Todd.

Not feeling ready to make the move into the church just yet he began working at Farlingaye High where he remained until last year.

He continued to spend time at St Mary’s spending over two decades singing in the church choir and acting as a Lay Elder for the past 14 years.

“My whole family joined the choir,” he said.

“There were some days where we were the choir.”

Gradually he began to think about working within the church on a more full time basis.

“Three or four years ago I realised saying no was not going to be an answer,” he said.

Last year he began training on the St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich Diocese Auxiliary Ordination Pathway.

“I have met a lot of really positive people,” he said.

“It’s been hard work. It’s challenging but rewarding.”

Rev Todd was ordained deacon on September 5 by the Bishop of Dunwich, Dr Mike Harrison, at the cathedral in Bury St. Edmunds.

In many ways there are similarities between the his previous job and his latest work.

“It’s very much about serving the community,” he said.

For Rev Todd his new role had been a way for him to give back to the wider St Mary’s family that welcomed him when he moved to the town.

“It’s one of their own going off and coming back to them,” he said.

“I have been part of that church family for a long time.”

MORE: New priests and deacons will serve communities right across Suffolk

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