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It’s a real privilege to do my job, says new vicar
IN a career that stretches from retail sales to the police and one of Worcester’s top private schools, Mark Badger has now started a new job as vicar of one of the county’s largest villages.
As well as St Mary’s Church, Kempsey, near Worcester, he will also be responsible for St Denys Church in neighbouring Severn Stoke, succeeding the Rev Peter Holzapfel, who retired last year.
“Being a parish priest affords me the great privilege of simply to be alongside people in the happy, sad and sometimes tragic mom-ents of their lives,” said Mr Badger.
“And loving and caring for people, for themselves; being interested in them, for themselves, no matter what the context, who they are or what they believe.
“The villages of the parish have a great community spirit and the Church plays a big part in that community.
“I was attracted to this post because the Church is really alive and active here with lots of really exciting and innovative activities going on.
“You even get your breakfast when you come to church here,” he added, referring to the Kempsey tradition of serving breakfast before the family service on Sunday mornings.
Born in Kidderminster, Mr Badger initially went into retail and sales, reaching managerial posts before being ordained in 1996.
He was curate at St Stephen Worcester from 1996 to 2001, followed by five years as priest in charge at St George with St Mary Magdalene Worcester and chaplain to the Royal Grammar School, Worcester.
From 2005 to 2007 he was chaplain to the Thames Valley Police Diocese of Oxford.
For the last five years, he has been managing director of Motov8, a registered charity working with hard-to- reach young people in an effort to promote re-engagement with education and reduce social exclusion.
He said: “The charity was established by me in 2001 and grew out of a parish youth group I had started while at St George’s.
“It now has centres across Worcestershire and Herefordshire and works with about 250 young people a week delivering vocational training programmes.
“After seeing the charity through a critical point in its development and securing its future, I wanted to move back into full-time ministry.”
Mr Badger is married to Kathryn, who is a paediatric occupational therapist. The couple have four children.