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Mrs D Bray

Lay Chaplain

I was brought up in an extremely musical family with all of us playing in a brass band, which was founded by my granddad who had Salvation Army roots. At the age of six, I was given my first mouthpiece for a tenor horn and, once I was able to buzz happy birthday on it, I was allowed to play the real instrument. My granddad later introduced me to the cornet and I have been playing ever since. I have had a successful musical career, winning many solo and ensemble contests, touring around Europe performing in concerts and achieving grade 8 with merit.

After A Levels, I decided I wanted to be a primary school teacher so I joined the University of Reading, completing a four-year teaching course alongside music (BAEd Music) and achieving a first class honours degree. I met my husband whilst at university and we have three lovely sons.

My first teaching job was in a Catholic school in Woodley, where I was the music co-ordinator and PSHEE co-lead for 13 years. Being part-time at the school meant that I could increase my skills in other areas and so I decided to become the Catholic lay chaplain at the University of Reading for the Portsmouth Diocese. I joined St Joseph’s in 2017 and thoroughly enjoy supporting staff and pupils however I can.

In my spare time I still enjoy playing cornet and running. I have taken part in various half marathons and 10k’s and enjoy being part of the Woodley Park Run family on a Saturday morning. As a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan, a lifelong ambition for me has been to learn to ballroom dance and, over the last year, I have learned to do this with Little Steps Dancing group. You will often see me practising a sneaky cha cha cha or jive down an empty corridor if you’re lucky!