Rachel Noel

Assistant Curate

Rachel was born and grew up in South London, and went to school in Wimbledon. She went to the University of Nottingham, to read Maths & Philosophy, where she met husband Phil, who was reading Physics. As a young person, Rachel went on the Scripture Union Computing & Electronics holiday, where she made a commitment to follow the Christian faith. She continues to be involved with the holiday each summer, which now meets in a boarding school in Salisbury. Her family were strong members of the local Baptist Church, which is where she preached her first sermon whilst at sixth form. In her teens, it turned out that Rachel was allergic to the floor polish at the Baptist Church. As they lived opposite the local Anglican Church, this is the rather unconventional way that Rachel first started attending worship in the Church of England.

After university, she spent a year doing voluntary work as a support worker with adults with learning disabilities, and in a residential school with children with emotional & behavioural difficulties before Rachel & Phil got married and moved south, living for a while in Nomansland before settling in North Baddesley. Phil works as a software developer.

Rachel worked in various organisations before completing her MBA at the University of Southampton. For a number of years she has worked at Carnival UK (P&O Cruises, Cunard…) leading projects across the organisation and driving forward strategic change.

Alongside this, Rachel was an active member of the local church in North Baddesley, leading various youth groups and activities, developing all age worship, and encouraging people on their faith journeys.

Rachel loves embroidery, and enjoyed doing City & Guilds Stitched Textiles courses. She is passionate about creativity, and particularly using creativity in prayer – Rachel can regularly be found on Quiet Days at Hopeweavers.

Rachel and Phil have a young daughter, who has just started at Fordingbridge Infant School. As a family they are really enjoying settling into life in Fordingbridge, getting to know the people and places here, and serving God in this beautiful place. They’re enjoying walks in the forest, splashing in muddy puddles, and the great selection of tea shops in the area.

Rachel has just completed an MA in Theology for Christian Ministry and Mission at STETS, studying part-time alongside working and bringing up their daughter. It was a huge privilege to be able to follow her calling, and to be ordained in Winchester Cathedral in June 2014, alongside fellow curate Nicky Davies.