Born in 1969 (I’ll leave you to do the maths) I live in Hampshire, England, with my husband and teenage son.
I was until 2013 a Reader in the Church of England and until 2012 a Trustee of Mothers’ Union for the Diocese of Winchester. I enjoy walking and wildlife, a spot of photography, gardening and good music of almost any genre. Prior to all the theology stuff, I used to have time to silk paint, knit and cross-stitch!
A bit of a biography
I was born and raised in Minstead in the New Forest which is famous as the final resting place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the location of a regicide: William Rufus had a close and terminal encounter with an arrow on the edge of the parish a few centuries before my birth. We moved to nearby Lyndhurst whilst I was at Sixth Form College, but have remained connected to All Saints Church in Minstead ever since.
Three years at University in Aberystwyth gave me quite an inheritance – a husband being just one of them! We met through St. Mike’s, the church we both attended – and eventually he came to dinner once too often. St. Mike’s was the growing ground for our Christian faith, and many friendships we retain. There are whole generations of ministers whose faith story can be found to have roots in St. Mikes.
Aberystwyth has a tendency to retain a hold over all students who pass through, not just those who find or develop faith there. I also acquired a fantastic group of ‘geek’ friends as we were at college during the rapid growth in the use of computers, but before they reached into our homes. Courtesy of these friends I was given my own ‘room’ in something called AberMUD (I have partied with all its original creators) in which I believe I was the first making tea after Armageddon. To stay with this ever expanding friendship network, in later years they put me on Bullet (I don’t do technical) and finally I took myself to LiveJournal and Facebook. Now, I’m here, still working out how to do ‘geekie’ things with their help. My grateful thanks folk, especially to Alec!
A job at The Look Out led me to Bracknell in (what was then still) Berkshire. Here I curtsied to HM The Queen, dressed as the ‘Bracknell Bear’, abseiled off it’s tower, and watched from the same tower as Windsor Castle burned. I got married and settled there, eventually finding a spiritual home at Warfield Church, as a result of which we spent several years leading worship and sharing in the running of a new church ‘plant’ into the school on a new estate (which we couldn’t afford to move to ourselves.)
Our son was born whilst we lived there, but I didn’t take to remaining in Bracknell as a ‘mum’ and we moved to Yateley (back in Hampshire) soon after: the result of a Sunday afternoon spent eating KFC in front of a cricket match before attending the evening service at St. Peter’s.
In the years since then, St. Peter’s has given me various challenges; leading All Age Services, helping organise a Millennium Festival, Ladies Suppers and meeting the people that eventually led me to be a member of Mothers’ Union. An interregnum (an Anglican “pause” between vicars) and requests to speak at a ‘Women’s World Day of Prayer’ service, and a chapel at Winchester Prison, were part of my first hesitant steps into preaching. Feeling out of my depth I sought help from the Diocesan Vocations Adviser, and I rather ‘fell’ into ministry as a Reader!
Since licensing in 2009, and my ministry has been changing at reasonably dramatic rate. Another vacancy left me looking after the “occasional offices” (baptisms, weddings and funerals) but only able (as a Reader) to do funerals. Before the last vicar left he (and others) challenged me to stop ignoring the number of people who said I was actually called to be priest, and I then spent 18 months in what is known as “discernment“. In Holy Week 2012 I was recommended for training for ordination, and so in September 2012 started another training course (‘mixed-mode’ at Ripon College Cuddesdon), at which time this blog gained it’s third name change since I started it in January 2009! This time I think it’s a name that will last, because God just keeps on calling me onwards