Rachel Monie is one of just two people being ordained as Deacon at Truro Cathedral in this year’s Petertide Ordinations.
Rachel, who is new to Truro diocese, will be moving to Cornwall from Cambridge, where she has been studying a BTh degree.
Rachel’s decision to go for ordination is something she never thought she’d do. Here is Rachel’s story:
“If someone had told me as little as 10 years ago that in June 2017 I would be relocating with my family to Cornwall, about to be ordained deacon at Truro Cathedral, I would not have believed them. But that is exactly where I find myself today, and nobody could be more surprised than me. However, one of the many things I’ve learned since becoming a Christian is always to expect the unexpected!
“I was brought up in a Roman Catholic family and dutifully attended church every Sunday until I was 18. As a young child I had a faith, but by the time I went to secondary school this faith had dwindled. Church, for me, became a place full of rules that were dictating to me how to live my life and causing me to feel guilty and disappointed with myself when I failed to live up to what I thought was expected. By the time I left school I was determined never to attend church again unless I had to. However, I might have abandoned God but he certainly hadn’t abandoned me, only it was going to take another 18 years for me to realise that.
“Following school, I graduated in Business Studies at Sheffield University and then worked as a manager in the NHS for a number of years. It was a rewarding career, but deep down I always had a sense that I hadn’t quite found my passion in life, the thing that I had been put on earth to do. During this time, I met my husband Danny. We married in 2002 and formed a step-family with Danny’s son Jordan (now 24) from his previous marriage and my daughter Beth (now 21) from mine. Later we had our two children, Victoria (14) and George (12). Family life can be difficult at the best of times and living as a step-family brings unique challenges of its own. The first few years of our married life were definitely a struggle.
“The turning point for me came in May 2006 when my mum died suddenly of a heart attack. It was in the midst of my grief for her that I felt God reach out to me, through some very unexpected words of comfort and hope spoken to me by my daughter Victoria who was only 3 at the time. My life changed in that moment. Not long after this Danny and I unexpectedly found a wonderful, warm and welcoming church family, at Grange Park Church, an Anglican/Baptist church plant in Northampton, where we were living at the time. It was there that I discovered for myself who Jesus is heard his invitation to me, and I became a Christian. Now I could begin to make sense of the difficult times in my life and feel loved and accepted regardless of the choices I had made up to that point. Best of all my family and I didn’t need to struggle on alone anymore because we had God and our Christian family with us every step of the way.
“Danny and I became very involved in the life of Grange Park Church and were there for eight years up until our move to Cambridge in 2015. During this time, I trained in Lay Pastoral Ministry with the Diocese of Peterborough and it was then that I sensed a call to ordained ministry. 2 years full-time ordination training at Ridley Hall studying a University of Cambridge BTh degree was to follow, including a deeply formational 2016 summer placement spent with the Anglican Churches of St Thomas Kefalas in Crete and St Paul’s Athens. On return, my Christian journey took another unexpected twist as God led us to Truro Diocese for my curacy, something I could never have foreseen!
“I feel enormously blessed to be called to serve in such a beautiful place as Cornwall. I’m looking forward to getting to know the church communities and villages of the Atlantic Coast Cluster and I’m certain God will continue to surprise us during our time here.”