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Minister reflects on 'incredible' two years as part of Sudbury community ahead of move to new role in Ipswich

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An outgoing Sudbury vicar believes the local community should feel very proud of the town they live in, as he reflected on his tenure ahead of his impending departure for a new role.

The Rev Tom Mumford, minister at St Gregory’s Church, confirmed he will leave Sudbury in mid-September, to take the position of priest-in-charge at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich.

Having joined St Gregory’s two years ago, in his first ministerial role, shortly after his ordainment, Rev Mumford has also been heavily involved in the community, as a governor at Tudor Primary School, a trustee at St Peter’s and a contributor to Sudbury Newstalk.

Tom Mumford is a minister at St Gregory's Church in Sudbury. PICTURE: Mecha Morton.
Tom Mumford is a minister at St Gregory's Church in Sudbury. PICTURE: Mecha Morton.

The 30-year-old told the Free Press he had set out, when he began, to bring people together, and he felt he had been able to do that to the best of his ability, even through the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The last two years have been really incredible,” he said. “I remember saying when I first started that Sudbury is such a welcoming place. People are so generous and kind, and I felt really at home and part of the community really quickly.

“There’s some great people and organisations here, and the people of Sudbury are really lucky to have such a lovely town. I have tried to get myself involved as much with the community as possible, and I will really miss them.”

With the Covid-19 crisis bringing much disruption to church activities, Rev Mumford began live-streaming weekly online services for people to participate in during lockdown, which have attracted involvement from people living abroad.

He was also involved in the Sudbury Community Network, which helped to co-ordinate services and deliver food and prescriptions to those isolating in the early stages of the outbreak.

“The pandemic has brought unique challenges. The amount of funerals I have done over the last year has been phenomenal, trying to care for people who have been bereaved and lost loved ones.

“It has been a real privilege to walk alongside people in these moments, but it has also been very tough.”

Thanking the people of Sudbury for their support over the last two years, he added: “Thank you to Sudbury for the way in which you have welcomed me.

“You ought to be very proud of the town you live in. It’s beautiful place with lovely people.”