On Sunday 26th June I experienced one of the most wonderful and significant days of my life when I was ordained a Deacon in Lincoln Cathedral. Acknowledging a sense of call to ordained ministry and then having the courage to follow it through has taken me a long time, but that day was an incredible point on a journey that I know continues. It was shared with the family and friends who have loved and supported me over the years and it was really special that both Alyson and Steve also were there -people who, along with yourselves, will become very special to me in the years ahead. As I write this I have already had the privilege of meeting some of you, but we haven’t yet got to know each other. So, what can I tell you about myself that will help you to know something about me?
I was born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire where I grew up and where I met and married Charlie. For the first years of our married life we lived in Welwyn Garden City and it was here that we both became active Christians. Once the children came though, we wanted to move to a more rural place to bring them up and eventually came to Lincolnshire. We lived in a village called Bardney, which many of you may know, its claims to fame being an ‘open door’ and a sugar beet factory. During these years I worked at all sorts of jobs which helped with the family budget, including cleaning and working for social services as a Homecarer. Charlie had been an aircraft engineer but during these years worked as a long distance lorry driver. We attended the village church and were able to explore the calls to ministry we both felt. Whilst Charlie trained and became a priest I became a Reader and enjoyed over twenty years in this ministry, serving in my own church but also leading worship in various parishes when they were in vacancy. In more recent years I was also on the Governing Body for the Diocese and represented Lincoln Readers on the Central Readers’ Council.
Through Charlie’s work we have lived in a variety of places in Lincolnshire, though always south of Lincoln. During this time I qualified as a nursery nurse and worked with children between the ages of three and five. Most recently we spent nearly twelve years in the Folkingham area before moving to Swineshead when Charlie became priest-in-charge of the Haven Group in 2013. We share our home with my daughter, Georgie, and her child, Ava, who is nearly five. I am not sure if this keeps us young or wears us out – perhaps a bit of both. As it is, I am very familiar with children’s T.V and Disney films! I am sure you will get to meet them in due course. My son will is the elder of my two children and he normally lives in Holywood. Not the trans-Atlantic one though, but Holywood near Belfast. He is a pilot and is based with us at the moment whilst he trains with a new company at Heathrow. I have one sister who I am very close to and she lives in Grantham where my Dad also lives. Sadly I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only fifty-two, but Dad married again and so I have a wonderful step-mother, Joan
So, that is the family. What else can I tell you? Well, I love gardening and just being outdoors. I walk whenever I can and hope that when time allows I will find my way around the Boston streets. Quite often I will go to Frampton Marsh in the evening and when I walk I feel all the tensions and worries of life dropping away. I pray a lot while walking too. I have always sensed the presence and ‘being’ of God outside, through the landscape around me. One of my favourite places is Northumberland and we go there quite often for holidays. I am also a bit of a bookworm and love reading, everything from theology to crime fiction – I have just discovered the Shetland detective series and have read them one after the other. I also like to sew, sometimes paint and do printing but in reality there is simply not enough time to do all these things consistently at the moment – perhaps one day!
One of my favourite passages in the bible is Luke chapter 4 verses 16-21 where Jesus tells us he has come to ‘bring good news to the poor…proclaim release to the captives…recovery of sight to the blind…and let the oppressed go free.’ I am passionate about showing the world there is an alternative way of being, that we don’t have to live as the ‘world’ says, and to me justice for the oppressed is a strong part of this. Motivated by this concern, until the end of December I was involved with the Mothers’ Union as a Diocesan trustee. Nearer to home, I continue my work on the management committee of Boston Women’s Aid, an organisation I know that some of you support.
As an assistant Curate I hope to be with you between three and four years, first as a Deacon and then, after a year, as a Priest. I look forward to living and working with you all over these years as together we meet all that life brings us.