Police officer trades baton for a bible to become Denmead's newest reverend

A FORMER police officer will be returning to his old beat around Waterlooville – this time armed with a bible instead of a baton.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 12:26 pm

Jack Williams is fixing to become one of the area’s newest deacons, having given up his job fighting crime to instead spread the word of God.

He will be ordained as the new curate at All Saints Church, in Denmead, as one of nine people being ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth to serve as clergy in this area.

Jack said: ‘I am excited to be ordained, because it’s an opportunity to be a visible part of the community.

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Jack Williams has travelled and worked in many different parts of the world, but he keeps finding himself being drawn back to the Waterlooville area where he grew up. Now he’s just about to be ordained as the new curate at All Saints Church, Denmead.

‘I’ll be able to wear my dog collar in Denmead as a representative of the church. It’s a bit like being a police officer on the beat, in that you are there to support people and to be someone that the community can trust.

‘Funnily enough, every time I’ve tried to leave this area, I’ve ended up coming back. I could have been posted anywhere in Hampshire to be a police officer and went to Waterlooville. I could have become a curate anywhere in the diocese, yet God brought me back to the Waterlooville area again, this time to Denmead.’

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Jack grew up in Waterlooville and attended St Wilfrid’s Church in Cowplain as a boy.

Pictured is: Jack Williams with his son Caleb.

Before joining the police force, he travelled the world spending time in Australia, Scotland and in Hong Kong, working for a Christain organisation there.

But, when he decided to join the police force, he found himself posted back to Waterlooville police station.

His job was to respond to 999 calls from Hayling Island to Petersfield, and he served for nine years in the role.

The day before Easter Sunday in 2016, he had just done two early, two late and two night shifts and was exhausted, but found he couldn’t sleep.

So at 1am, he found himself praying, and claimed that God had inspired him to do more studying to help the church in some way.

Soon he found himself drawn towards ordination, and studied at Trinity College, Bristol, for two years from 2018. He had married Charley and their first baby, Caleb, was born in his first year there.

‘Becoming a clergy person was something I had never imagined I’d be doing five or six years ago,’ he added.

‘I had left school without even any A-levels, and had discovered that I had dyslexia in the police. So the idea of taking any kind of qualification seemed beyond me. But I now have a theology diploma.’

Jack will be ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster on October 9, which means he’ll be able to wear a dog collar and clergy robes, and be called ‘the Reverend’.

Ceremonies to ordain the eight other people in the area will be carried out over the next two weekends.

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