At the age of seven I was sent to board at a prep school in Eastbourne, with the view that I would then pass on to Eastbourne College. It was not to be: I failed the entry exam by a mile. My parents sought a more accessible placement for me and came up with the King’s School Ely.
Here in the surrounds of the wonderful cathedral and it’s Lady Chapel I felt the call of God. It was my custom to say my rather boyish prayers in an ancient chapel, reached only by a narrow circular staircase, called Prior Crauden’s chapel. In the second bench from the front, surrounded by headless, stone carved figures, (the victims of Cromwell’s enthusiasm), I talked to God, from 7.15 until until breakfast at 8.
Somewhere along the line, I felt called to join the Church and on leaving school applied. After one interview, the matter was dropped. In the next four decades, I became at intervals, a husband, father, pig farmer, teacher, Pentecostal, Quaker, atheist and finally an Anglican. In those years I found God, and lost Him and finally He found me again.
In the year 2000, I heard that inner call again. I applied and surprisingly was asked to go to a weekend of interviews to test my suitability for ministry. Imagine my surprise when I was sent to Ely, and my astonishment when I found myself sitting on that same bench some 43 years later. I learnt that when God calls, He really means it. The rest as they say is history. As if to show that He meant business, my ministry training was wonderful. SWMTC, was right up there with the best of times. The people, the lecturers, the books, the degree, a breeze! To my delight I served my curacy on my home patch, St Gennys, where I always thought the air was purer, the grass greener, the sky bluer ……and the people..just right!
And then to my delight, +Tim, asked me to serve in the benefice of Kilkhampton and Morwenstow, as curate in charge. It has been a wonderful experience for us, living among a truly friendly community. And here Lynne and myself have lived now for 5 years. A phrase springs into my mind: “God’s timing is perfect!” I do believe that God has a plan for your life and that the plan for your life has a much larger purpose than we can understand. Now at 70, it seems that a part of the plan for me is ending and another just beginning. I’m trusting that the source of the plan is Love and that the Creator of the plan has a purpose for me, be it ever so small. Here we go then!