Steve Tennant, the curate and current incumbent at St Cuthman’s, is open and friendly. Like the church, he is unassuming: dressed in a polo shirt, denim shorts and sandals, he could easily be on holiday. His relaxed approach has yielded excellent results, with 50 local children attending the Kidz Klub and a further 135 adults and children in attendance on a Sunday.
‘St Peter’s has a number of plants,’ he says. “It has 2 in the city – us and St Matthias Fireways. As a staff team we meet monthly with their senior staff team to talk about where our ministries can complement each other. They help financially. They’re very supportive.’
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
‘When I arrived at St Cuthman’s, my first job was to clear the church,” says Jan. “It looked like a jumble sale. There were broken chairs, torn books and old toys everywhere. I said to the congregation, “If there’s anything you want, take it in 2 weeks or it’ll be gone.” I took everything to the tip. The church got a bit clearer, and I got new equipment for the church by scrounging.
‘When the team from St Peter’s came, everything was removed without a word. I went upstairs and saw that everything had been cleared from the cupboards. I raised my voice. I banged my fist on the countertop. I think Richard tried to calm me down. Richard is one of my best friends now.