Stephen Williams, who worships at St Mabyn Church, is not completely new to ministry having previously been a Methodist minister serving in a number of circuits including north Manchester, Nottingham, Northamptonshire and Cornwall.

“I was a psychiatric chaplain during my time in Nottingham’s inner city and I subsequently left full time ministry to concentrate on working in mental health and further develop my private therapeutic practise.”

Stephen’s work led him to work with people with mental health issues in supported housing and in social housing where he works with vulnerable tenants and high level anti-social behaviour. The role has meant Stephen is involved in a lot of child protection and adult protection meetings as well as working with victims of domestic violence.

“It’s an extremely challenging and demanding role”, he says, “but I feel passionate about what I do. Day to day I can be involved in some really hairy moments dealing with extremely challenging situations but all worthwhile when you see positive outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

When not working, for the last 12 years Stephen has taken an active role in his local church at St Mabyn, leading worship, preaching, and leading the church’s music group which regularly contributes to the church’s worship life.

“It’s an immense privilege being able to lead worship in this way and mixing modern with more tradition forms of worship styles to the glory of God.”

It was during the ministry of the previous incumbent that Stephen was gently challenged to reconsider his sense of vocation and future ministry within the church.

“I always had a fire in my heart which has never diminished or gone away; a passion for preaching the Gospel, a pastoral heart for God’s people, and enthusiasm for exploring ways in which the Gospel can be relevant in the cultures of today.

“I could not escape the fact that alongside being conscious of the presence of God in my day to day work and my therapeutic practice, that He was challenging me to reflect upon my future vocation within the church and the local community, and I feel immensely privileged and blessed to be at this point of ordination.

“I am open to whatever the future brings and wherever God may lead me. He is a God of surprises so I wait in anticipation for what will unfold.”