The picture shows Sara my wife of 30 years, our daughter Charlotte with her fiancé Matt and Christopher our son who is just about to go off to university in Plymouth, if things go well over the summer.
I grew up in the county town of Stafford and left school when I was 16. I did a short time in the army, then had a variety of jobs to make ends meet before joining the police in 1993. In the police force I did a variety of roles including a beat bobby, a detective working on major incidents and a family liaison officer, but my passion was cars.
I spent time as a traffic policeman, a motorway patrol officer and, having been promoted, I ended my service in charge of the forensic collision investigation unit. Our department was responsible for attending all fatal and life-threatening collisions and gathering evidence and photographing the scene and then preparing a full reconstruction of the mechanics of what had happened for presentation in court.
I became a Christian in my early thirties through an Alpha course in our local Baptist church, and I have to say it changed my life; God had given me a second chance. My last role with the police was the job I thought I was made for; it was the fulfilment of my professional ambition and I loved it!
So, you could imagine my surprise when I felt God calling me into ministry. I tried my best to hide from God, perhaps a bit like Jonah (but no fish) I even wrote 20 reasons why I could not go into ministry! But, to cut a long story short, God won and I couldn’t be happier.
When I was selected for training Sara, Christopher and I packed up and sojourned in North London where I studied at Oakhill Theological college. We tried to make the most of our time there, and even managed to take a photo at every one of the monopoly board properties, but we are not city people and were delighted when we were asked to take our curacy within a small group of semi-rural parishes back in Staffordshire.
We have had a good three years back in Staffordshire and, while we were sad to leave the good friends we have made, we are very excited about our moving to St Nicholas’ in Bradwell. We moved into the rectory on Wednesday 1 July and Bishop Graham ‘collated’ me on Thursday 16 via the wonders of Zoom. The welcome we received was simply wonderful, bunting, cards and even a hamper of goodies. I am looking forward very much to exploring the local area, becoming part of the community, and living and sharing the love of Jesus.