Jackie Roberts | Youth Leader

Jackie RobertsI grew up in Knockholt and was part of St Katharine's PCC in the 1980s as well as teaching in the Sunday School. I then pursued my career in retail working for Selfridges and travelling as a retail fashion buyer for 15 years. I have lived in New York and London and we returned to Knockholt at the beginning of the new Millennium, so that our children could enjoy a village school and a rural lifestyle.

It is great to be back in Knockholt and helping to support the work of the church in our parishes. I particularly enjoy helping with the Sunday Club and learning with younger members of our congregation. I have a real sense of tradition and history returning to Knockholt and contributing to our thriving church. My grandparents (Bert and Janet Cook) were part of the congregation and my grandfather was also the Village Constable living in the old police houses in Chevening Lane. I remember being treated to an ice lolly at the sweet shop on a Sunday morning if I had "behaved" in Church, which I tried hard to do - as the reward was a great treat!

Looking at the photographs of the different Rectors, I have been fortunate to have known many and benefited from their wisdom. Canon Smith baptised me, and Humphrey Newman was there for my confirmation. Malcolm Bury took our wedding service, and David Flagg baptised my son Matthew. I worked alongside Michael and Michelle Woodcock developing our children's activities, and now enjoy the relationship with Pat and John Benson who do so much to encourage and support our community.

Whenever there is a tough moment or life's challenges get on top of me, I will sit in St Katharine's and gather strength from the beautiful church that continues to provide comfort and calm in an ever-changing and often daunting world.

One of the groups that I run is Mums Together which provides an opportunity for all carers to get-together and discuss parenting issues, sharing experiences and supporting each other. Our community is very important to me and the care of our village family particularly the oldest and the youngest is part of my "raison d'être".

I am very thankful to so many people who give of their time and energy for the good of our church and community. Thank you to all who keep St Katharine's and St Margaret's going, long may our churches thrive!