Wedding planning leads Katy to Broads chaplaincy 

Wedding planning leads Katy to Broads chaplaincy 
Katy Prentice started out investigating whether she could get married on a boat and ended up joining the Waterways Chaplaincy team.

Katy Prentice and her fiancé Mark from Loddon Marina started investigating whether they could get married on the old wooden boat Defender of Oulton. Their quest to find out whether there was a way of tying the knot on a boat led Katy to make contact with the Waterways Chaplaincy. When she found out about what the team does, Katy decided that it was something she might be called to herself.

Katy says “After reading the website I reflected on the role and decided as I’m in Loddon I figured God put me there for a reason so I’d explore it.”

Katy considers that a number of strands of her life up to this point seemed to have prepared her for the role. Over 20 years ago Katy loved taking part in two expeditions sailing in the Danish isles with the Royal Signals Territorial Army when she was a student at Norwich Art school. Katy also previously explored training for ministry, and at one point completed a Fresh Expressions course in pioneer ministry. However a traumatic marriage breakdown made worshipping in church painful for a long time. Yet she now feels in a place where the experiences and difficult times she’s been through and the healing she’s received through God’s grace can help her minister more effectively to others.

Katy will be the Waterways Chaplain for the Loddon and Chedgrave area under the mentorship of Mike Cadman who is Senior Waterways Chaplain for the Broads hub area. Katy hopes to live out her faith and allow God to use her in what she calls “Godincident meetings” to be a blessing to others. She will also be on hand to help with practical issues and is currently updating a list of useful resources and facilities for those living on boats or holidaying in the area. Katy would particularly like to reach out to those who are lonely or vulnerable, and hopes to organise a knit and natter group on a local campsite.

Writing in 2021 about the role, Mike Cadman said “Our duties involve everything from directing holiday makers and helping cruiser hirers to moor up to taking the water hose to their boats, directing people to the shops, and listening to the bereaved. Outboard motors have been taken for repair, bus passes and letters delivered, and some good chats have happened over the odd cup of coffee taken to the boat.    

“We get to know the fisherman especially in the quiet season when they are out enjoying the fresh air and hopefully catching fish, but also meet those with real concerns for which we can provide a listening ear and sometimes information as to how to get a problem resolved.”

Katy still doesn’t have a date for her wedding, but she does now know that they will be able to have a service of blessing on the Defender of Oulton. And in the meantime she is throwing herself into her new role.

Article published Courtesy of Network Norfolk, the Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website.