Friday, April 20, 2007

A life in a paragraph

I have been asked to write a short summary of myself for the C of E pending ordination to post on a website. It was supposed to be a short and simple paragraph but I don't really do short but I am simple!

" ‘ If we could but show the world that being committed to Christ is no tame humdrum sheltered monotony, but the most exciting adventure the human spirit could ever know, those who have been standing outside the Church looking with suspicion at Christ, will come crowding in to pay allegiance, and we might well experience the greatest reviving since Pentecost’ so writes James Stuart and if I had to have a hope for the church of my nation and my ministry that might be it. I was born in Salisbury and grew up in England and Scotland and was blessed with a happy childhood. I was educated at Rugby School and, so my teachers told me, was academically unspectacular. During most of my childhood I had been exposed to what I experienced as exceedingly dull and irrelevant religion. This subjected me to boredom, as I experienced it, and apparently required me to be ‘smart’ for Church. This seemed odd considering what I had picked up along the way about Jesus. I vowed to cease attending church voluntarily as soon as possible which I achieved aged about 14. Despite fairly ordinary A-levels, I managed to secure a place at Newcastle University and got a degree in Geography. At university, prompted by my sister’s conversion to Christianity, I decided that Jesus warranted a revisit and some further investigation. Aged 21, the evangelist J John came to preach one morning in a local Anglican church I had started attending and explained the gospel to me and suggested it would be a good idea to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and how that is possible through what he did for me on the cross. I wondered why nobody had explained the Good News to me earlier in all my years of church going. Perhaps I had just failed to hear and understand it? I moved to London and started work as a management trainee in a large blue-chip business, which subsequently led on to a career in international sales and marketing. During the early 1990’s I lived as an ex-pat in Russia for three years and took on various marketing positions and roles with my company. This lengthy season in business taught me much about the world and the complexities of life and was fruitful in many ways, not least the memorable experiences travelling the world and the formation of some life-long friendships. Fours years ago I felt a prompting to pursue something more and started to explore the possibility of ordination. This involved a leap of faith to leave my job and go and work for my church, St Barnabas Kensington, which confirmed my desire to train for Ordination and church leadership. For the past two years I have been studying at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and will be serving my title at Holy Trinity Church in Richmond. When time allows I love nothing more than a days fly-fishing or a round of golf. All are welcome to come and visit."