Dear St Peter and St Paul Family,
If you could only imagine how excited and how blessed I feel to be writing this to you. God has been so good, and I am thrilled to have been appointed as the ‘Children and Families Worker’ for our wonderful church community.
I just want to share a little of my story with you.
Back in Northern Ireland, I was privileged to be born into a Christian family where church and worship were right at the centre of our lives. As a rebellious teenager, I didn’t feel this way and thought the whole faith thing was a huge irritation and a bit of an embarrassment. So, when I moved to England, I cut myself loose from everything to do with church. Thankfully, God doesn’t work that way; He doesn’t cease to exist because we choose to ignore Him. God is always there, always waiting and hoping for us to find a relationship with him through Jesus. Isn’t that an amazing truth?
When my then fiancé and I were planning our wedding, which was to be held in the village where I grew up, the minister insisted that we attend church on several occasions if we were to be married in the church. That’s when I began to question my disbelief and God became real to me in a very personal way. One evening in my mid-twenties, walking home from work in the dark it all fell into place. God was there and present, always had been, and so my journey began.
Fast forward two decades - I’m a wife, a mother of three (teenage and above) and teacher, just loving my career. I had been working for a year as Head of School and that point. Even though I was still going on in my faith and a regular at St Peter and St Paul’s, I had never been baptised (Ironically, I’d been brought up in the Baptist Church). The Holy Spirit really convicted me of this, I had never truly surrendered and knew that to flourish in the Lord, I had to take that step and commit myself fully.
In September 2017 I was baptised in our beautiful church and confirmed soon after. My world of work, almost immediately turned upside down, becoming unbearable and in February 2022 I was completely burnt out and signed off sick for the first time ever. Recovery was slow and painful, but God was still there with me. I went back to teaching too soon and suffered a very stressful year, yet God was still with me. By the end of the following academic year, I know that I had to step away from my career in education – something I would never have imagined. It was a painful wrench.
The very next Sunday, the church notices included an appeal for a new Messy Church leader. I instantly knew that this was why my Loving God had released me from work and thought that while I was having this career break, I would use my experience to volunteer with children and families in the church. I loved every minute of it and was soon involved with Rocks and Noah’s Ark. Then Covid-19! The ministry moved online, and I took a much longer than expected break from work.
Last year in September, I returned to teaching and stepped back from a lot of my church commitments. I missed them desperately but fell back in love with teaching. This year was an immensely healing experience and I thank God for it.
When the post of Children and Families Worker came up, my initial thoughts were, ‘I’d love that work, but the timing doesn’t suit; I’m just getting my career going again and loving it.’ That ‘still small voice’ though had other ideas. In time I knew that it was God’s will for me to apply for this job. I am so pleased that I listened and obeyed. I am enthused and excited to work in our church family with such amazing teams of people at a time when the Holy Spirit is truly at work in our congregation and community. What a privilege! What a responsibility! But God is here with me and knows the plan.
Please pray for me (and our whole church family) in this work. God is great and will do great things.
For surely, I know the plans that I have for you,
says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm,
to give you a future with hope.
This promise applies to each and every one of us and to all of us together as the body of Christ. I am excited about the adventure ahead and pray that God guides every step.
8.30am Said Holy Communion (Traditional)
10am Sung Eucharist or All Age Communion
Monday & Thursday Morning Prayer at 9am.
9am Morning Prayer in person and on Zoom here
11am Holy Communion
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St Peter & St Paul is a registered charity: Number 1133812