“I asked God to fix things at work and I knew I had to put myself into His hands.”
For Kirsten Stott, a busy working mum, the diocesan Foundations for Ministry course came at just the right time. It not only opened up a new ministry pathway for her, but also supported her through an extremely difficult period.
Kirsten had a nagging sense that she needed to get more involved in church life. Already a member of the church choir, the PCC, and a Lay Deacon at St James, East Crompton, she found it hard to shake off the feeling that God was asking her to do more.
“I always had this little voice saying ‘This is what you need to do next’”, she said. She chatted to various people and was guided to the Foundations for Ministry (FFM) course, which is designed to help people work out what their calling is about.
“I remember the Induction Day and being told ‘The next 12 months could change your life!’ I couldn’t see how I could fit any more in with my career and family commitments.”
Beginning the FFM course coincided with a very difficult time at work for Kirsten, where she was a civil servant with 32 years’ experience of criminal investigations. “I had the worst year at work and ended up taking time off with stress. Despite the horror of the situation, FFM kept me going and it became the focus of the year. I gave it my all!”
Kirsten threw herself into the course, which nourished her and became a lifeline. “I asked God to fix things at work and I knew I had to put myself into His hands. I didn’t anticipate that I would end up leaving my job, but I accept it is where God was leading me. The hardest things were mourning my career and trusting God with my future.”
FFM revealed to Kirsten her strong pastoral skills and opened her eyes to lay chaplaincy, which she didn’t know existed. “I am now training to be a lay healthcare chaplain where I feel very much called to be.”
She is also excited to be helping to lead the FFM course – putting something back into the course that gave her so much.