Welcome to our new Vicar!

‘New Beginnings’ – a message from Leonard


Leonard Browne

For many of us September is the season of returns and new beginnings: back to school or off to uni with new teachers and sometimes new locations; return to regular routines of work and home; and familiar patterns for Sunday, and through the week for our church community.

In the midst of all this there is a new beginning for Alison and me with you at St John’s.

There will be others reading this who are also new – welcome to you!

My prayer is that amidst all this we will know the unchangeable transforming love of God to sustain and empower us.

Being a meaningful part of our family has to involve belonging and engaging with the life of this fellowship – and there’s so much to be involved in. Let’s pray and then play our part!


About Leonard and Alison

Leonard and AlisonLeonard was born in Northumberland, but from age two grew up near Belfast, where he became a Christian when he was 16.

He read History and then Theology at Cambridge where he met Alison.  After they were married they moved to Bristol, where they were both teachers.  Leonard then spent three years on the staff of Christ Church Clifton, before ordination and a curacy at Greyfriars Reading.  They had two of their three children in Bristol, and their third child while in Reading.

They returned to Cambridge where Leonard was vicar of St Barnabas, and led the church into substantial renewal. After nine years, during which time Alison returned to teaching, they moved to Cheltenham, where Leonard was Senior Chaplain at Dean Close Schools. He then became Head of the Prep School and being Deputy CEO, before returning for the last two years to the Senior School as a chaplain and teacher of RS, Philosophy and Ethics.

Over the years he has written on sport and evangelism and spoken at various theological colleges and conferences on topics as diverse as leadership, youth culture and the Holy Spirit in Church History. He has been a regional New Wine leader, a Bishop’s Adviser for ordination training, a training incumbent, a school inspector and a mentor for younger Christians.

Browne FamilyHe loves most sport – not least rugby, and enjoys supporting their three children in different ways. Their eldest daughter Kat works in Cheltenham in financial recruitment, is married to Stu and is mum to Lola who is two years. Their son Pete is a professional rugby player with Ulster; and their youngest daughter Becky is a Biology teacher at King’s Gloucester. They love meeting people and enjoy entertaining (mostly with food, but occasionally with song and dance!). They have a 15 month old golden doodle and are privileged to have Alison’s father, Tom Hall living with them.

Leonard has a heart for seeing people become who they are meant to be in Jesus; building community; and equipping and enabling the people of God to share the Good News of Jesus with those around us, by word and deed, centred on the Scriptures, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

They are excited to be in Harborne and journeying together with the Christian community seeking to be vehicles of God’s transforming love.




Bertie’s Blog will follow!














9th Aug 2016 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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