I am really excited by making following Jesus real and relevant for those who have no idea of who he is and his reality today. I like seeing fresh ways of knowing Jesus that are deeply rooted in the tradition of Christianity but are helpful and useful today.
I’ve always wanted to make communities of people transformed and transforming the world around them because of Jesus. I couldn’t see a place for me in the Anglican Church 25 years ago. It is only in the last decade, as the role of Ordained Pioneer Minister emerged and it seemed to describe me better than anything else, that I have felt called to ordination. I was perhaps a square peg and now can see square holes to fit into!
When I was looking for training there were only one or two places that really were offering the sort of training I could see I would need. Church Mission Society (CMS) stood out clearly. I had asked about it at Breakout [pioneer conference] and all those I talked to spoke highly of CMS. I also liked the idea of training with another mission as I worked for 25 years with YWAM before. The cross-cultural and contextual understanding of mission is vital for a pioneer and this is the strength of a missionary organisation.
I have been bowled over by my fellow students. They have been a constant source of inspiration, support and encouragement. We learn a lot from each other as each of us bring reflections on our practice which almost always means there is a ready illustration to what we are learning or a creative way one of us is applying what we are learning.
The hardest part for me as an ordained pioneer is the combined training with Cuddesdon. This is where as ordained pioneers we get our Anglican training. This often feels like driving a car and going for fifth gear and finding reverse by mistake! However, there is much grace and learning to understand and appreciate the different traditions of the Anglican Church and how we can work together is really vital. Probably the most valuable thing I've learnt is how to listen and have conversations between people, culture, tradition and theology. There is much wisdom available if we open our ears.
I am now a curate at St Peter’s and St Mark’s in Maidenhead. We let God put his hands on our future and it worked well. I feel raring to go to put things into action; we are so brimming over with ideas, we definitely need to stop and listen to God first.