I’m Rev’d Rich Townend and am thrilled to be the new Priest in Charge of Felton and Longframlington with Brinkburn, Whittingham with Edlingham and Bolton Chapel. I’m married to Emma, and we have three children Belle (14), Jasmine (12) and Zoey (2). We’ve spent most of our married life living in villages to the south of York, before spending our most recent years in Durham and Bridlington. A bit more about me…
I was born and brought up in York and studied Drama in Winchester before doing a Postgraduate course in Broadcast Journalism at Sheffield. After a short stint with the BBC, I took a change in direction and got into children’s and youth work at a church in urban Middlesbrough. Following this, I took up a role with national Christian youth charity, Urban Saints, as their North-East director. After several years, I took my second major change in direction and became a primary school teacher. I worked for six happy years in Barlby, a village near Selby in North Yorkshire, whilst also doing the children’s provision at our local church in my spare time. After a chance meeting with the former Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, I embarked on career change number three, which I hope and pray will be my final one!
The family and I moved to Cranmer Hall, Durham for me to train for ordination. After two years, and in the middle of lockdown, we moved to Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast where I served my curacy at Emmanuel Church with Barmston. I’ve enjoyed almost three fantastic years in Bridlington, being part of a community-focused, growing church. I couldn’t have asked for a better training experience and am excited for the next chapter. As a family, Emma, Belle, Jasmine, Zoey moved to the Vicarage in Felton at the beginning of March, together with our elderly sausage dog, Taffy. We look forward to exploring Northumberland, making new friends, and inviting our family and existing friends to discover this wonderful part of the world for themselves.
I look forward to getting to know you more and sharing more of our story in the coming months and years.
In faith, hope and love, Rev Rich.