Fr Michael Smith joined Immanuel in September 2014 as our vicar having spent three years as a curate in Chandler's Ford, a few miles down the M3. He is responsible for the pastoral care of all those who live in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood.
Fr Michael was born in the late 1960's in Norfolk and grew up in Essex. One of four children, his mum was a family care counsellor for the church and father a secondary school teacher. Fr Michael was active in the local church in Upminster from an early age, first as a server then climbing to the dizzy heights of Deputy-head Chorister in the church choir.
At the age of 16 Fr Michael discovered the Taize Community in France (more about Taize HERE) that was to shape his spiritual life. He spent 18 months living and working there from the age of 18 and was fortunate to travel to Paris and Wroclaw, Poland with the community before returning to the UK. Fr Michael felt God was calling him to something in the church from an early age but it took to his mid-30s to discover what that might be!
A career in Insurance was carved out and he spent his last 12 years in insurance working for an American insurance company in various Sales, Marketing, Development, Relationship Management and Communication roles; leaving Chubb Insurance at management level. These days it's sales and management of a different sort!
Fr Michael brings a variety of skills to Immanuel and Hatch Warren & Beggarwood, but he especially enjoys meeting people. In particular, getting involved where he can in school life at St Mark's and discovering where he might be able to help and be involved within the community. He enjoys listening to music of any and every sort, watching rugby (long gone are the scrum-half playing days!), good food and wine (as well as the occasional G&T) and film. Fr Michael is married to Nikki and have three sons.
His mission for Immanuel, is for the church to be very much part of community life, offering services that are accessible to all but most importantly serving all those who live in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood. Fr.Michael is a trustee of the Community Association that is responsible for the running of Hatch Warren Community Centre, Assistant Area Dean with responsibility for the liaison between the church in Basingstoke and relevant agencies in respect of new housing, and a member of the national committee of Women and the Church (WATCH).
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