The Reverend Sam Norton
Sam is the rector of West Mersea with East Mersea, Peldon, Great and Little Wigborough, making the Mersea benefice.
Sam was born in the summer of 1970 and lived in Heybridge Basin until the age of 12: in the local yacht store until he was 6, and then on a houseboat moored next to Salcott Sailing Club. During his teenage years his parents ran a wine bar in Coggeshall, and which established a lifelong love of wine!
From age 11 Sam boarded at Bishop’s Stortford College, which he loved, and after a gap year spent mainly working in Colchester, with three months travelling around North America (he loves the US), he spent three years studying Philosophy and Theology at Trinity College, Oxford graduating with a First Class degree. Sam was one of those odd people who started studying theology as an atheist and was converted by the arguments! From there he joined the Department of the Environment as a ‘Fast Streamer‘, working on nuclear safety, the Single Regeneration Budget, Local Government policy and the setting up of the Environment Agency. A combination of getting fed up driving a desk, and a growing awareness that he was called to ordination led to resigning from the civil service and spending a year working as the caretaker at his church primary school.
In 1997 Sam went to train for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was then ordained Deacon at St Paul’s in 1999, and priested in 2000, serving his curacy at St Dunstan’s and All Saints, Stepney until 2002. He also managed to complete an MA in Philosophy and Religion at Heythrop College, London during this time.
Sam took up his present post in the summer of 2003, a few miles down river from where he had grown up. As well as his parish responsibilities, Sam is a Ministry of Deliverance adviser for the Diocese. He greatly enjoys teaching the faith, and retains an interest in philosophical theology and the nature of religious language. He self-published his first book, exploring how the church should understand the ecological crisis, in early 2012.
Sam is a married to the long suffering Victoria, is father to six children and is walked by several dogs.
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