My journey began 20 years ago
19 June 2018 IN: People News
Andy Smith will be ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Manchester at Manchester Cathedral on Sunday 1 July 2018. He discerned his calling after talking with others.
"My journey to ordination began when I started attending St Paul’s Church, Kersal in 1995 so that I could get married in my parish. My wife (Deb) convinced me we should go and see the Vicar, Revd Steven Fletcher. As a divorcee with ‘history’, I was convinced we would be chucked out, but to my surprise we were made very welcome, and didn’t feel judged.
"Soon after I became a Christian a big group of us would go to Spring Harvest in Skegness each year. One year I found myself asking three people who were on their ordination journey, 'How do you know when God is calling you?'
"It took me a long time to hear the call, but I feel like I have one foot in the traditional church, and another in the secular world. Thanks to the continued support of Revd Lisa Battye and my very patient mentor Revd Sue Timmins, we managed to discern where God was calling me.
"I started training as a Pioneer Ordained Local Minister. However, around a year ago I felt God was calling me to a different parish. So, after 20 years in the same church I’m off to be the assistant curate at the benefices of St Andrew, St Paul and St Peter in Blackley, which will be a big change for me. However, I am very excited to see where God has called me to be.
"As the time draws closer to the ordination I feel both anxious that I am not yet ready to serve, and excited about what the future holds, with God’s help."