The Reverend Philip Hobday – Vicar
After growing up in Coventry I studied Modern History at Oxford. Then I worked for a busy south London church for a year, before training for ministry at Ridley Hall in Cambridge (where I met Hannah) and where I also studied Theology at Fitzwilliam College. My first clergy role was as a curate at St Peter-in-Thanet in Broadstairs on the Kent coast. For six years before coming to Earley I was a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge , where, as chaplain, I cared for students and staff and also taught Christian Theology to undergraduates. I have a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Nottingham and I am currently researching for a PhD on Richard Hooker, a sixteenth-century Church of England theologian. For fun I read (especially politics and history), walk, watch films, and I enjoy drinking coffee and eating cheese.
The Reverend Hannah Hobday – Vicar
I grew up here in Reading – in Tilehurst – but moved away to Oxford for university where I enjoyed studying mathematics and philosophy. After a year in a wonderful multi-cultural church in East London – full of life and colour – I did my ordination training at Ridley Hall Cambridge (where, among other things, Philip and I met) and then moved to Kent for a curacy at St Paul’s, Cliftonville, Margate. We moved back to Cambridge where I served as an associate priest at St George’s Chesterton on a part-time basis while focussing on our three children who all arrived during this period. It is exciting to have moved together as a family to Earley and we are enjoying getting to know the area together. We’re particularly glad to be able to have children at the church school and to be able to build on links between the school and church.
Dr Elaine Watts -Lay Minister
I was born and brought up in North Wales. I was a Senior Laboratory Technician in a school for 2 years before studying for a degree in Biological Sciences at Westfield College (now amalgamated with Queen Mary College), London University – where I also met my husband!
I went on to study for my doctorate in freshwater biology. During the time I was working for my doctorate I took part in two expeditions to study crater lakes, the first to Cameroun, West Africa and the second to Indonesia (Java and Bali). I went on to do postdoctoral research at Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot, I left when I had our first child, I have two children and decided to be a “stay at home mum.”
I found myself being drawn into the life of the church and doing all sorts of things including Chairman of the Hall Committee and Parish Administrator; I was also a School Governor. After much searching and studying I was Licensed as a Lay Minister in November 2017 and I am looking forward to “reaching out and telling the story” to all the people in the parish and beyond.