Tod and Ana Gobledale, our Ministers since 2015, are retiring in July. Their final service with us will be on 10 July, with an afternoon tea celebration.
Tod is a member of the Wessex Synod Pastoral Committee Southwest. Ana represents the United Reformed Church on the Joint Liturgy Group of Great Britain. Ana also edits Worship Words, a website sharing ready-to-use worship resources using inclusive language and upholding the premises of Progressive Christianity.
Tod grew up in Virginia. He spent a year in Israel with his family 1970-71. He attended Bates College (BA in History, 1976). He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, from 1976-1978. He attended Chicago Theological Seminary (MDiv 1983).
Ana grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Western Illinois University (BA in English), University of New Hampshire (MA in Teaching), University of Chicago (MA in Divinity) with a bursary from Disciples Divinity House, and Northern Illinois University (Doctor of Education). She is the author of The Learning Spirit: Lessons from South Africa (Chalice Press 1994).
From 1984-1991 Tod and Ana served the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) in rural South Africa. They co-authored “Hearing the Bible Today” for the UCCSA Task Force on the Church (1990). They lived illegally in a Zulu community and were evicted from South Africa in 1991.
They served the Congregational Christian Church in Franklin, New Hampshire USA, a United Church of Christ congregation,1991 -1994 when they returned to southern Africa to serve as ministers at the UCCSA in Plumtree, Zimbabwe, a pastorate of 16 congregations. In May 2000, they fled the rising violence in the country.
From 2000 to 2003, Tod & Ana lived in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, where Ana worked in the headquarters of Global Ministries, the international mission body of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). During this period, Tod served several United Church of Christ congregations as Interim Minister.
From 2003-2008, they served as chaplains and lecturers at Churches of Christ Theological College (CCTC), Mulgrave, Australia, (now Stirling Theological College) seconded by Global Ministries. They were responsible for continuing education for ministers and supervising students in ministry as well as being involved in justice and inter-faith activities.
From 2008-2010, Ana & Tod served as Interim Co-Ministers at the Kirkland Congregational Church United Church of Christ near Seattle, Washington USA, while awaiting visas for the United Kingdom.
Their first position with the United Reformed Church of Great Britain (2010-2015) was St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in Brockley, a community in southeast London. Ana and Tod were also responsible for St Michael’s Church in New Cross.