Who is this assistant curate you speak of?
Published by Jon Cooper on Saturday, 11 April 2020 17:00
Bishop Christine ordained Katie Watson on 27th March as a deacon to enhance her role as Deputy Lead Chaplain at Newcastle Hospitals. All newly ordained clergy are licensed to a parish and so Katie has been attached to St Francis Church, and here she introduces herself to us !
Hello it's me, waving from behind an apron, gloves and a face mask and when ‘this is all over´ I will be genuinely delighted to be joining your church family at St Francis’.
My name is Katie (although most of the Newcastle Hospitals staff refer to me as ‘The Captain’ from way back when there were three Katies on the chaplaincy team). I am the Deputy Head of Chaplaincy at Newcastle Hospitals and in normal times our team covers 14,600 staff, 1700 beds, plus relatives and outpatients, across multiple sites including community services. I say in normal times, not because we have stopped but because I genuinely at the moment couldn’t give you up to date figures.
I hail from Newcastle originally with most of my family from Heaton and Jesmond. I was brought up in East Yorkshire where I was a chorister for ten years, my love of BCP evensong stems from this time and my dislike of the hymn Praise my Soul the King of Heaven, having sung it multiple times every Saturday during the wedding seasons.
I joined the British Army at 18 and served as a member of the Royal Military Police. Following two tours of Bosnia in the early nineties during the genocide and a tour of duty in Northern Ireland as a searcher on the streets of Belfast, I was selected to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I completed the year-long commissioning course and upon completion of this was commissioned back into the Royal Military Police. I retired from the regiment in 2002 at the rank of Captain.
Joining the civilian world was a bit of a shock to the system and it took me a while to settle. During that time I served as a Coxswain on the Hornsea Inshore Rescue Boat and trained with the Probation Service. I commenced vocational training in 2007 on the then North East Oecumenical Course at Ushaw College (the predecessor to the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership).
It was whilst on NEOC that I arrived at Newcastle Hospitals Chaplaincy team on a long placement, some 12 years later I’m still there. As my boss would say, the worse student they ever had as they haven’t yet signed me off – I rather hope he’s joking.
I am keen ultra trail runner, regularly training and racing distances of 30 miles and over; we are so blessed to have the amazing hills, vales and that there wall to keep me occupied. I coach with the minis section at Novocastrians when time allows.
So that is a very quick snapshot of me and I know there will be multiple questions to be answered and conversations to be had which I look forward to as well as the chance to serve with Robert and learn from his wisdom. Top tip – coffee white no sugar on a morning; tea, white no sugar after 12. Cake is an essential 24/7!
So until “this is all over” I hope this short piece gives you a little picture of who this rogue, stealth curate is.
Remember stay safe, stay at home, and protect the NHS – I don’t want to see any of you in my beds!!
@245bored @NChaplaincy @Poppy_Hound
Katie looks after Poppy the Staff Welfare Hound, who visits departments to help relieve staff stress on busy days.
Here is a portrait of her!