Teresa Folland will be one of seven people ordained a Priest at Truro Cathedral in July 2017.
The church has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. At the age of three I was sent to the only Sunday School in our village at the Methodist Chapel.
Girls’ Brigade was added to Sunday School and by the time I was a teenager my life revolved around attending or leading younger children at GB and Sunday School, singing in a GB choir and somewhere in between I managed to fit in school and ‘o’ levels.
At 17, more by accident than design, I managed to get a job with a bank and left my beloved Cornish village, family and friends and moved abroad to Exeter! My career in banking spanned over 25 years and took me to Bristol, back to Exeter on to Plymouth and eventually I returned to Cornwall in 2001.
My Christian faith also went on a journey across the borders of different denominations, Methodist, Baptist, URC, a Charismatic ‘House Church’ and sometimes no church.
Following the birth of my son during a period of no church, (O yes I forgot to say, part of my ecumenical journeying was as a result of acquiring a nomadic Christian husband), I felt the need to get back to church again and although I had previously practised the GB motto to seek, serve and follow Christ, I felt I wanted to take a back seat, be anonymous and be fed for a while. It was then that I joined an Anglican Church in Exeter; a very different experience of church as it was Anglo-Catholic, but it felt right. I loved the liturgy, I felt as though I had come home and enjoyed a time of receiving from God.
Two years later we returned to my childhood village of Dobwalls where I had gone to Sunday School, got married, had our son baptised – in the Methodist Chapel – but having defected to the Church of England I found myself with the dilemma of where to worship. God’s timing is so good; the month we moved, St Peters closed and joined the Methodist Church which later developed into a formal LEP; problem solved.
It was at Dobwalls during St Petertide, seven years ago that I first heard the call to stop fishing, come follow me and I will make you a fisher of men. I completely misunderstood what God was asking of me. By now I had left banking was family pastoral worker for the Anglican Church and Captain of GB, so I thought God was affirming what I was doing.
It took two more years and many promptings for me to recognise that God was calling me to ordination, a very different way to seek, serve and follow Christ. Teresa has spent the last year serving God in Launceston.