Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
I thought I might make the most of our current blog series to introduce myself.
The first things I suppose I should say are these. I am a Yorkshire girl. From all the way over in Mirfield. I have lived in various places – London, the South of France, Halifax (I know – I’m sorry!) but my heart is in West Yorkshire and I am delighted to find myself serving as your Vicar here in Huddersfield.
I grew up in Mirfield, went to Wakefield Girls’ High School and Huddersfield University to do my first degree in Theatre and Media Studies. It was very strange when they knocked down the University’s St Peter’s building a few years ago to drive past with my children saying “Look kids – that’s where mummy did her degree”. I met my husband Simon in 1996, during my time at Huddersfield Uni, and we’ve been married since 2001. Simon brought a wonderful step-daughter, Kirsty, into my life, who is now in her 30s and gave us our first grandchild, Erin Isobel, in October 2019. We hope to celebrate Erin’s baptism with our new St Peter’s family when we can all get back into church. Simon and I are also proud parents of Isaac, age 13 and Jonah age 11. All you need to know about them for now is that Isaac is delighted school is closed, and Jonah is begging me to be able to go back!
I am a talker – as those of you who have been joining me online for various online services will already have discovered. The words I’m going to share with you over the next few blog posts are adapted from a talk I prepared to give when I was on the Archbishop of York’s annual Mission in 2019 in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. I attended many different kinds of evangelistic events – a fabulous hymn sing, praying around the estates in former pit villages, children’s events, special services and memorably the event I prepared these words for “Wine and Well Being”. A packed church full of ladies wanted me to tell them, as an evangelist, what I had to say about well-being and God. I come from a very central Anglican tradition – the kind where we shudder a little on the inside when people say words like ‘testimony’. But I found myself called by God into a new situation – and that God needed new things from me. Perhaps I should rather say that God firmly insisted that I use in God’s name the skills and gifts I had been given – and that I get over my shuddery self and get on with it. It seems appropriate to share this with you as we all find ourselves in a new situation in our life of faith.
I hope that this telling of my story will help us get to know one another despite our distance.
To be continued…!