Revd Geoff Abasolo-Munnery (Authorised Presbyter)

I am a local lad, officially a Man of Kent, born just east of the river Medway, in Chatham. Proudly from Kent, I am equally proud of my Italian heritage, my dad being born in Trieste. Up until I was 12, I lived in Gillingham, before moving firstly to Ashford, then on to Folkestone. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, being active in my childhood in our local parish as an altar server. I returned to regular churchgoing when I was 18, and it was at this time I felt a nascent calling to the priesthood. After working for a few years in retail, I entered formal training and formation for the priesthood, studying at St. John’s RC Seminary, Wonersh, near Guildford, between 1991-1996. Ministry, for 9 months as a deacon in Woolwich, was followed by 12 years as a priest in Gravesend, Tooting, as the Diocesan Youth Chaplain based in Whitstable, and as parish priest in Norbiton, near Kingston upon Thames. My ministry as a Roman Catholic priest included hospital and school chaplaincies. A growing personal conflict with certain aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine, and the fact that I fell in love with my present wife Theresa, meant me resigning from active ministry within the Roman Catholic Church in 2009.

After a period working as a Residential Child Worker, a teacher for 8 years and working as a Mental Health Support Worker, I realised that I felt called back to ordained ministry, and so applied to be received into the Church of England as a priest. After 10 months of remote training (glued to a screen over the COVID pandemic period), I was formerly received as a priest in the Church of England at Canterbury Cathedral by Bishop Rose in July 2021. I served my curacy in Ashford Town Parish, before being appointed Rector of Saxon Shoreline Benefice in April of this year.

Due to the LEP at Hamstreet, I have also been licensed as an Authorised Presbyter in the Methodist Church – quite a journey since my Roman Catholic days! I am delighted to be able to lend a hand and be part of the South Kent Circuit, and I am keen to work ecumenically. My spiritual journey has led me to exposure of three Christian denominations, which I hope will stand me in good stead as I work across the Circuit. I am enjoying learning about Methodism and its ‘founders’ John and Charles Wesley. By happy coincidence or ‘God-incidence’, my anniversary of ordination is 24th May – Aldersgate Day – so God has a plan somewhere!

As a Christian, my passion lies in working for greater inclusion and for Social Justice. My heroes include Francis of Assisi, Oscar Romero and Desmond Tutu. I would call myself a liberation theologian, believing in working for the Reign of God in the struggles for equality and justice within our world. Outside of church life, I am a keen football, cricket and rugby fan (both codes). I am a long-suffering Everton FC supporter, keep an eye on Gillingham’s results and Kent CCC. I am married to Theresa, originally from the Philippines, and we have one daughter, Frida.