“Labelled at one time as a ‘Cradle to Grave Christian’, I had a good upbringing in a loving and supportive family with a younger sister and brother.

“Baptised, confirmed and married in the village church having met my husband at Portsmouth Teacher Training College. We began our married life on the west coast just inland from Aldeburgh where I continued my primary school teaching until the boys were born. Simon, now a Commander in the Royal Navy and Hugh, head of staff at LSE.

“In 1975 we moved to Dorset with my husband’s new headship in the small village of Trent where Archbishop Fisher had retired too. The school was C of E and had a strong Christian ethos which I was able to help encourage by leading various church related activities.

“Then during the 90s Salisbury Diocese of which we were part, began a training scheme for Ordained local Ministry. From the benefice in which we were living three candidates were put forward two of which were selected and who are now both stipendiary priests. Part of that training involved a parish support group in which my husband was involved and from that group another candidate came forward. I joined her parish support group and it was while I was presenting her in Salisbury Cathedral that I felt called to be doing more within my local church.

“I flew home on wings and the love and support that Ivor and the boys gave me set me off”

So asking to see Joe Edwards who was then our rector, I told him I would like to possibly be trained as a Lay Pastoral Assistant. He, however, sat me down and said he would like me to seriously consider Ordination but to go home and talk it through with my family. We only lived around the corner from the Rectory but I flew home on wings and the love and support that Ivor and the boys gave me set me off.

After talks, essays, doubts and much prayer I went forward and was selected in 2000 to be trained as a Distinctive Deacon and was then Ordained in 2003. Then for the following five years I was part of the team servicing six small rural churches and was privileged to have been able to not only take Services of the Word but to take Communion by Extension as well as the Occasional services of weddings, baptisms and funerals. Added to this was all the pastoral work that living in a small community needed.

As I became more experienced I was often challenged about the possibility of becoming a priest but the time wasn’t right. Then when we had a new incumbent after I had helped lead the parishes through an interregnum, I was asked again by the Revd Enever whether I would consider exploring priesthood and this time I felt that I should. However Salisbury Diocese at that time were not ordaining people over 70 years of age.

“They were the most expensive wellies we have ever bought!”

Throughout our 40 years of living in Trent we had been coming to the Isles of Scilly on and off for holidays and fell in love with them. When we sold our narrow boat in 1994 we invested in a time share on Tresco and then started coming on a much more regular basis. Last year just before it was time to leave we came across to St Mary’s as Ivor needed some new wellies. There we saw a house we fell in love with and within a week had made an offer. Within two weeks we’d put our house on the market and had two offers. As some people have pointed out, they were the most expensive wellies we have ever bought!

“Then the day came, Hugh drove us to Penzance, took the car to sell and we set sail in glorious sunshine to start our new life on the eastern side of the country in the stunning Isles of Scilly where we will end our married lives.

“The welcome has been fantastic and once again I was challenged and with the love, support and prayers of the community of which we already feel very much a part. I spent the day at Lis Escop being interviewed as to the possibility of being priested.

“Challenging but an enormous privilege that at 71 God has not finished with me”

“The rest as they say, is history. Exciting, daunting, challenging but an enormous privilege that at 71 God has not finished with me. He is calling for me to give more and I can only hope and pray that I can serve the community here well.”