- 272 Dyke Road
- BN1 5AE
Deacon Helen's Page
I live in Ovingdean with my husband Geoff and our retriever Jack.
I am a self-supporting minister working one day a week for the fishermen’s mission and the rest of the time as an artist illustrator.
1 spent 20 years in the police retiring in 2009, which taught me many skills I am able to bring to my ministry
I come from a Christian family and have very early memories of Sunday school but for most of my adult years only an ‘occasional’ churchgoer. My calling came relatively late. It was my art and a Christmas Card competition that first drew me to St. Wulfran’s, my local church, and it was my art, painting the ‘Stations of the Cross’ that I would describe as my ‘Damascus Road’ moment. But that was only the beginning; it took a couple of years and a number of affirmations from others before I realised God might be calling me to ordination. Three of these stand out for me: On my first Bishops Certificate course ‘Ears to Hear’ (on vocation and calling) it first occurred to me that God had a hand in the direction my life had taken so far, especially in my police career; I was describing this to a reader friend who said ”it sounds like you’re being shouted at”.
My church, St Wulfran’s, was looking for someone to take over as churchwarden from Sandra Hall, who was starting her training for ordination. I turned and asked a friend, Teresa, if the job was very time consuming and she said “yes but you need to know how the church is run if you are taking the same path as Sandra.” This was before I had spoken to anyone about my feelings or even seriously thought about my calling.
Perhaps the most emphatic was at the conclusion of my following Jesus course when we were discussing where we all went from there, the leader, Sharon Searle, told me simply “you must be ordained”.
Having finally acknowledged my calling and with my retirement coming up I started making plans about my future training. Of course, as we all know, that the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans and I soon found obstacles put in the way of mine. God had his own ideas and this would all happen in his time.
I spent 2 years studying part time at SEITE for a BA in theology for ministry. One of the big advantages studying this way is the great opportunity to train alongside many different traditions of churchmanship. One highlight was spending my Pastoral placement with the Fishermen’s mission with whom I now work as a ‘port officer’.
I feared it would be a wrench leaving ‘my’ St Wulfran’s, but we are well prepared for the move during our training and the welcome I have received from everyone at the Good Shepherd has been so warm that I know I am in the right place.
My ordination is a momentous stage in a continuing journey, which has been and continues to be both wonderful and very challenging at times.
But then God never said it would be easy.
|Dressed appropriately in pink for the T Club outing|
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