"with the help of the community
I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and take on tasks
that I wouldn’t have had the courage to otherwise."
Before interning at Christ Church, Isle of Dogs, I was worshipping at another church in Hackney - Holy Trinity Dalston and All Saints Haggerston - for more than 14 years. But I was wanting to explore a call to ordained ministry, and my DDO and incumbent recommended that I apply to the Stepney Intern Scheme so I could spread my wings by being in a church where I hadn’t grown up.
It has been a real blessing for me to have been on the Scheme, and the knowledge and experience gained has been exceptional!
The church where I’ve been placed - Christ Church, Isle of Dogs - is incredibly diverse in culture, age, wealth and education. Throughout the year I’ve been involved in a whole range of mission and ministry. This has included preaching, pastoral visiting, teaching, youth and children’s ministry, and leading worship.
The ministry that has impacted me most has been my involvement in the Parish Pantry (Foodbank). It has been a privilege to be able to witness how the church is responding to human need with loving service, but the experience also made me think about how both the local and wider church can be involved in advocacy for those in need. How can it speak into issues of poverty, unemployment and homelessness which affect people’s lives so deeply?
It was also a blessing to attend St Mellitus College and the Centre for Theology and Community, and through that, to think about how to bring together what I was being taught, with what I was experiencing in the parish.
For me, community living, which I hadn’t experienced before, was also one of the biggest challenges, but also one of the greatest joys to experience. With the help of the community I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and take on tasks that I wouldn’t have had the courage to otherwise. It was also a pleasure to be able to come together over dinner at the end of the day, to pray and live in fellowship with others, different from me in so many ways.
The experience over the last year has developed and transformed me, and helped me to explore my call to ordained ministry. And, it has been a true learning experience to see God at work through prayer and worship, through study, through the parish, and through the community.
And, next year, I’m looking forward to starting my ordination training at Westcott House!