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Welcome to Reverend Rachel Noël

Profile taken from the Licensing Order of Service...

Rachel grew up in a Christian family in south London, part of the local Baptist Church. Her faith deepened, as she took part in the Scripture Union Computing and Electronics holiday, a team that she is still part of. She first started attending an Anglican Church, (for BCP evening prayer) at 14, and fell in love with the liturgy, and the deep connections with the wider church, both through history and across the world.

Rachel loves learning new things, meeting new people, and encouraging the flourishing of all. She studied Maths and Philosophy at Nottingham University, where she met Phil, studying Physics. They married soon after, and settled in Hampshire, as Phil started work as a software developer. They’ve just celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.

Rachel has had a variety of jobs prior to ordination, most recently having spent a number of years leading projects and driving forward strategic change for Carnival UK (P&O Cruises, Cunard etc...), after gaining her MBA at Southampton University. She has previously worked in software development, children's homes, pensions & banking, alongside leading youth work, family worship and children's art and music workshops in her local parish church in North Baddesley.

Rachel trained for ordination at STETS, in Salisbury, with an MA in Theology, she particularly enjoyed her dissertation on creative process and theological reflection and her placement at Westminster Abbey, where she occasionally serves as a duty chaplain. Rachel became a Trustee of STETS and helped to take it through a merger with Sarum College, and became a trustee of the college. Rachel has also been a Trustee of Modem, a hub for leadership, management and ministry, and loves encouraging conversation about participation and inclusion, about exploring systems and structures that help to equip us and serve us to live out our faith. Rachel is a member of Diocesan Synod and serves on Bishop’s Council.

Rachel loves embroidery, crochet, painting and all things creative. She is a member of the Community of Hopeweavers, holding sanctuary spaces - quiet reflective spaces for people to be, to listen, to encounter God. Rachel is passionate about creativity, study and prayer, encouraging people to use all of who they are, as they encounter God.

Rachel is a colourful, creative, vibrant presence in the communities where she has lived and worked. Since ordination she has worked in Fordingbridge and in Pennington. Her focus has been building relationships in the wider community, with churches and other community groups, drawing people together to work for the common good, in particular for those that are hidden, isolated or without voice. She is passionate about developing faith and prayer with children and young people too, strongly supporting local schools in this work. She has been governor at three different schools.

Pennington were early adopters of livestreaming, appearing on BBC South Today the first Sunday of pandemic. Rachel has inspired community yarn bombs and art projects, with Pennington’s knitted and crocheted life size nativity and 25ft Christmas tree appearing on BBC Breakfast and national media. Projects designed to support mental health, and to draw people together from across the community.

Rachel is autistic and ADHD, and has experienced mental health challenges. She is open about neurodiversity, and has spoken and written widely about neurodiversity, mental health and theology. She is on the planning team for the national Inclusive Church Disability Conference – holding space for disabled people to gather, to resource each other and the church.

Rachel, Phil, and their fabulous 13 year old daughter Lizzie are delighted to be in Pokesdown, and are looking forward to getting to know us, encouraging us in our hopes and dreams for the work of God in our church and across our community.

Rachel would love to get to know you better, if you'd like to meet up for a coffee or a chat, please get in touch:, 07432 213 946.

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