Services taken in Cornish may be the order of the day once Heather West from Callington is ordained a Deacon at Truro Cathedral in July (2015).

Heather, a Cornish language Bard, will be among 12 people being ordained as Deacons or priests over two days.

Heather has been involved in church life for many years and was first drawn to ministry while living in Wiltshire. “My husband Robin and I were helping out with services and someone suggested we think about Ministry. Unfortunately we were not chosen and so we felt it wasn’t meant for us. So I carried on with my lay pastoral work and Robin as a churchwarden.”

It wasn’t until the couple moved back to Cornwall in 2005,that Heather began to feel called to do more. “The curate here asked me if I had considered Ministry and I explained what had happened before and she suggested I try again. Robin didn’t feel it was the right path for him but I went to speak to the priest and it went from there.”

Heather, a mum of three and grandmother, had grown up in a Methodist family but it was in 1991 while in an Anglican church that she felt God speak to her. “I felt God calling to me saying I needed to be confirmed but I didn’t know what it was all about. I did go on to get baptised and confirmed. I think it was God preparing me for this role.”

Heather undertook the South West Ministry Training Course (SWMTC) and says that while the three years of training was rigorous she greatly benefited from the ecumenical breadth of students on the course. “I think the major strength of the course is the breadth of the people who go on it. On our course there was everyone from Anglo Catholic right through to the Evangelical end of the spectrum and Methodists. It brought another level to the discussions we were able to have.”

Heather managed to complete her training while also caring for her 92-year-old mother in law who lives with her and her commitments within her church in Callington Cluster. “I’ve been fortunate that I didn’t need to fit my studies around a job but it has been quite a commitment and there have been moments!”

Heather says that while her parish has been very supportive of her, the amount of training she has had to do was under-estimated and it has been difficult for some when she has not been as involved in church life as she had been before. “A lot of people thought I was just doing a little bit of training and so couldn’t understand why I wasn’t in church as much. It can be strange especially when you’ve been so heavily involved and it can feel like you are missing something. I used to be chairman of the Churches Together here and also secretary to the Women’s Fellowship but I had to step back from these to focus on my studies.”

Far from putting her feet up, Heather is now midway through her degree in theology and she is about to move into Three Rivers Benefice to work with Revd Anne Brown. “I’m really looking forward to working with Anne. She’s been my mentor for the last two years and it’s going to be exciting working in the benefice.”

Heather’s move will also see her worshipping apart from husband Robin. “It is going to be a little strange because Robin will stay here in the Callington Cluster where he is a lay worship leader.”

Before that, the extended family will get together to see Heather ordained on the Friday evening by Bishop Tim.