Message from our new curate Rev Dr Louisa Pittman

 

The first question I am always asked is “Where are you from?” since my accent is definitely “not from around here.” It surprises most people to learn that I was born not very far away at RAF Lakenheath to an American military family, and I have spent my entire life between the UK and the US. I started my working life serving in the US Merchant Marine, and I spent ten years mostly working on historic sailing ships as a deckhand and officer. During those early years, I was keen to try my hand at anything new and adventurous, and I picked up an odd assortment of skills that were useful at sea, from diving to firefighting to firing cannons. 

 

Eventually, I decided to “settle down” a bit, and I left the sea to go to university in my family’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. I studied archaeology there, and picked up a few more odd jobs along the way driving horses and later working for a contract archaeology firm. After spending a couple of years in the field doing archaeological survey work, I wanted to continue my studies, so I moved to England in 2008 to do further postgraduate work in Bristol. It was there that I started going to services at Bristol Cathedral, and became so involved in the life of the cathedral, that I was eventually hired as a Verger. It was during that time that I started to explore a call to ordination, which eventually led to two years’ training at theological college in Cambridge. I’m now in the last phase of training for parish ministry, which is to take a three-year post as a curate here in the Group under the supervision of the Rector. 

 

I have never lost my love of adventure and the sea, and I still enjoy taking on new challenges. One of my more recent hobbies has been playing rugby, and I have taken the opportunity here to play the occasional match with the Wymondham Wasps. I have also just signed on to be chaplain to the Norwich Sea Cadets. I have not made the move to Norfolk alone, since I have been accompanied by a very grumpy pet hedgehog Tibby and by more books about nautical minutiae than is probably sensible. 

 

It is a real pleasure to be serving the next couple of years in this community, and I hope that when you see me out and about, you will feel free to introduce yourselves, have a chat, or just say a quick Hello

 

April 2019

 

Is it not odd how we so easily forget events that were all-but earth shattering only a few years ago, but which have now drifted out of memory. I was told once of a fire in wartime in an important place in the city. Everybody locally formed a bucket chain and the fire brigade started to put out the fire, until one of the rescuers broke a door down and discovered a hidden food store. At that point everyone downed tools and let the place burn: the house holder had been hoarding an essential resource meant for all in wartime. 

 

I remember my mother telling me how scary it was to live through the Cuba crisis and certainly in the 1970s in the Netherlands they were still testing our local air raid siren every week. I imagine many things we now think are utterly pivotal will similarly evaporate in the life times of our own children. All of which makes me fall back on things that really do last and are important in not just my time but across many ages. Our scriptures have this quality, and whilst I appreciate that many can’t agree and even I did not always think this way, as I get older and spend more time reading and studying them, they do have this timeless quality about them. 

 

It being around the time of Easter once again, I am drawn back to the accounts of Christ’s resurrection; of how completely against what you’d expect, the least important in society were the ones chosen to witness it; of how something that took place in a small outpost of the Roman Empire, had been broadcast across it in less than a few decades, in an age without modern communications. It was that important to people, ordinary people and had such an enormous impact on their lives, everyday lives. Please may I wish you a very happy Easter and hope you may be able to share it with us.