It’s a funny subject faith, there is a funny dynamic between wanting to tell someone that you are a Christian and having that terrible British awkwardness where one does not discuss religion or politics in friendly company.
That being said, my faith is very important to me. To the point where I am investigating whether a call to Ordination in the Church of England lies ahead. A lot of people are what you call Cradle Christians, those who are brought up in a Christian home, sometimes are members of a church, but are always there at Midnight Mass or at the many baptisms, matches and dispatches of family life.
Some people have these all of a sudden road to Damascus moments where they all of a sudden welcome Jesus into their life. Then there are the people like me, whose parents were not over religious, but sort of drifted in from the sides, often coming from faith schools, youth clubs or similar.
I was about 14, when I remember feeling this pull to the church, I had started going to church regularly and something was pulling me on, this pull over the years became a call which gets louder and quieter as life ebbs and flows. Until one day the pull became like a moment of clarity… a push … a ‘get your finger out’ moment. That is when I started my Ordination Journey.
Currently if you think of it as a road, I am just standing on the curb, waiting to jump into the street. I have done a Foundations for Ministry course which is signed by 13 church universities via the University of Chester. I now help lead this course for others looking at where their call lies.
In my own church I am undertaking an unofficial Deacon position, where I process with the Gospel, read intercessional prayers, help lead the order of service, and as a Eucharistic minister I help deliver the consecrated wine during the Mass or Eucharist. I love it. All the ceremony, the rich tradition, the family that church brings, and the ability to live out the Gospel as best I can.
I don’t know what God has planned for me, but I am enjoying the journey, the next step is for me to be referred to the Director of Ordinations, who will then send me to the first of, potentially, many Bishops’ panels where I will be scrutinised to see if the ministry is where I am being called.
Until then, I’m happy to put on my Alb, and help bring the Eucharist to my church family. I love having the opportunity to help those in the diocese see where their call is taking them, and I love the peace, and comfort a faith Father Son and Holy Ghost brings me.
I think working in retirement living, has shown me how important a faith is, I work with the elderly and vulnerable, I am there when they come into the building, and I am there when they leave. Having a faith in the afterlife and in the knowledge that I will see these people again is a comfort when we lose someone. I hope that by working with these people and doing right by them I am living the Gospel and keeping my promise to “love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
My future aim for Riverside is to create an Interfaith Chaplaincy team to provide pastoral support to colleagues and provide an environment where colleagues of different faiths can come together and provide awareness, guidance and training for each other.
Retirement Living Coordinator