We met at university and married in 1969, by which time I was working as an engineer and Lynne was about to start teaching. A few years later came a big change: I went back to University to study theology and Lynne gave up work because she was expecting our first child. By human standards this was crazy – we had no income! But we had a real sense of calling – vocation – about it and were sure we could trust God to provide. God was faithful, and friends and family supported us, and after 5 years of study I was ordained (in 1977) and began work as a curate in the Diocese of Durham. From there, with our three children, we moved to Sheffield Diocese, St Mary’s Bramhall Lane, right next to the Sheffield United football ground, where I was curate in charge. Four years later I became Rector of Wombwell, Barnsley, and then in 1990 we all moved to Madeley, Telford, in Hereford diocese, where I was Team Rector with two Team Vicars working with him.
We believe we should go where God calls us, and it has always been a commitment for both of us. Our children were not quite so sure – especially when accosted at the door of the vicarage by angry parishioners expecting them – our teenage children – to sort out the grave in the churchyard damaged by vandals or make appointments on their father’s behalf ! In 2001, by which time our children were grown up and away from home, we moved again, this time into Diocese in Europe territory, when I became Chaplain of St Ursula’s Church, Bern. What a beautiful country Switzerland is!
However, after six years we began to feel that we should move on again, and I said, “What do you think about Chile?” “Where’s Chile?” said Lynne – Geography was never her strong point! Lynne asked the kids what they thought of “Dad’s latest mad idea”, and two out of three said, “Go for it!” –our youngest took more persuading. Nevertheless, we became convinced we should accept theappointment, and had 4½ very interesting years. We had scarcely a word of Spanish, andmembers of our new congregation told us, “We Chileans speak the worst Spanish in the world,”but they wanted English services, and our Spanish did improve. We retired from there in 2012, and now live in Folkestone, in easy reach of our daughters and three of our delightful grandchildren, and not too far away from our son and our youngest daughter.