Oakwood Church Leeds


Debbie Nouwen (d.14/02/2022)

Reverend Debbie Nouwen

Hello everyone,

Yesterday (Sunday afternoon) I went to St Gemma's to pray with our curate, Reverend Debbie Nouwen and her friends and give a short service of reconciliation and anointing in preparation for her death. 

I learned that Debbie died this morning peacefully with staff from St Gemma's with her.

Debbie has been with us for two years and in that time has impacted on our lives in various ways. We give thanks for her life and commend her to the mercy of God our Creator and Redeemer. 

In this moment of sorrow, the Lord is in our midst and consoles us with his word:

No eye has seen, nor ear heard nor human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. 

Into your hands O Lord, we entrust Debbie. In this life you embraced her with your tender love and opened to her the gate of heaven.

The old order has passed away, as you welcome her into paradise, where there will be no sorrow, no weeping no pain, but the fullness of peace and joy with your son and the Holy Spirit for ever. 

with love and prayers as we grieve her death.


Monday 14 February 2022

*Reverend Canon Kathryn Fitzsimons

Anglican Vicar

Anglican Assistant Curate

 Church of the Epiphany (Gipton)

and Oakwood Church

I am a proud Yorkshire lass born and bred. I love the great outdoors and adventures of all kind. Prior to being ordained, I lived on a canal boat for nearly 12 years with my four-legged buddy. Prior to being ordained I was the National Waterways Chaplain for the North of England and the Midlands, and before that, I spent 20 years working within the social care sector

My life’s journey has had many twists-and-turns and there really is no one more surprised to be wearing a dog collar then me!  I am still a wandering nomad at heart and at times continue to think I can still out run God, but then look where that got me!  I don’t see faith as something neatly packaged, instead I have found that doubt and uncertainty has been a vital part of my Christian journey thus-far

I tend to meet God more in the muck and mess of life, rather than through stain-glass windows. I get seriously hacked-off with the notion that people who come to church have got it all sorted, which we don’t. In the words of Nadia Bolz-Weber “Never once did Jesus scan the room for the best example of holy living and send that person out to tell others about him. He always sent stumblers and sinners”, which I find really comforting

I also understand why so many people steer clear of Christianity and the church in general. But here is what I have come to understand for me, there really is no darkness, and no shame that will ever prevent the love of Jesus from embracing us. Or as Cardinal Basil Hume once said, "divine judgement is whispering into the ear of a merciful and compassionate God the story of our lives which we have never been able to tell, and yet find that we are still held and embraced by a love that will never let us go."


20 February 2020