My Journey

#194 My #journey to training for #ordainedministry began some ten years ago when I was in my early twenties. I had been living in Japan for four years previously and had recently returned to Britain. I was driving home from work one winter evening, pleading with God to guide me…He gave me a vision, a bit like a bolt of lightening, of me as a parish priest. In that moment there was complete clarity of words that people had spoken in recent weeks, alongside an acknowledgement of the gifts God had given me allowing me to see a real flourishing of my ministry within the vision. A few weeks earlier, a good friend had told me that God would guide me and it would be to something that terrified and excited me all at the same time – I completely understood that! Days before my mother had told her sister that she thought I would be a vicar: at the time, that just seemed to be the most absurd suggestion, but again in that moment I felt God’s absolute affirmation. I kept this vision to myself for a few weeks, but God was powerfully at work, and even my own parish priest asked me if I had a call to ordained ministry on my heart! Despite the conviction of this sense of calling, I felt that God was very much saying, “yes, but not quite yet”. Through further prayer and discernment I felt led to train to teach Secondary Religious Education, a career which enabled me to grow and flourish spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I am now in my first year of a two year training programme at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. I have often wondered whether God had got it right, then whether my incumbent had, and those in the diocese that also affirmed my call and supported me through the discernment process. That said, I cannot fail to recognise the energy and passion that God has given me as I responded to His call, in His time, and in His way for my life always seeking to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. #CofECalling (at Thame, Oxon)

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