My name is Robin and I’ve been married to Annabel for five years and we have a little girl, Heidi, aged 2 and a little boy Angus that was born in June this year. I originally hail from Bradford in Yorkshire and Annabel is from the Outer Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland, but we met through our midweek bible study group whilst at church in London. It was during that time that I began attending another church called St. John’s, part of the Co-mission network, on the World’s End Estate in Chelsea.
After four years as a member of the congregation I started as a ministry trainee for a two-year training programme. Following this, I was employed at the church as their Church Families Worker for the past year. It has been a real joy to be involved in full time ministry over the last three years. Being part of a small church, there were many opportunities to get involved in serving; from teaching the younger members of the congregation, running a men’s gym in the church, community outreach events and doing 1-2-1 bible studies. Living far from both of our families, meant the church family became very dear to us and we learned a great deal through the closeness that comes with being part of a small local community church.
Having the exposure to so many different ministry opportunities under the watchful guiding hand of my minster, Andy Mason, led me to seriously consider the future prospect of leading a church congregation myself. This is something that I find both exciting and daunting but I rest in the knowledge that it is God that builds the church and not myself. Praise God that this is true for all our ministries.
In considering a call to ordained ministry, I explored the options before me. After much searching and thought, I realised that whilst I had Anglican convictions I personally didn’t agree or feel comfortable with idea of being ordained within the structures of the Church of England. This was mostly in relation to decisions made at higher levels within the institution.
It was at this point that I contacted AMiE. At this point I wasn’t sure in what direction my path would go but wanted to hear about AMiE‘s plans. What I found most encouraging was the enthusiasm and the ’can-do‘ attitude that came across from the many conversations that I had. I also felt very supported by those involved in the recruitment process very early on. It was the same gospel ’risk-taking' mentality that has been so embodied to me as a Co-mission ministry trainee. I also loved the prospect of having episcopal leadership that was there to serve the churches.
I actually found the discernment process a positive one. The process was rigorous and challenging yet at the same time I found this encouraging as it ultimately means I can be assured that everyone else within AMiE has gone through the same procedure and therefore holds to the same gospel convictions and adheres to the same biblical principles. As such, during the Ministry Advisory Panel process, I felt able to say exactly what I felt and state the theological convictions that I had and welcomed the questions put to me. I was thrilled to receive the recommendation to be trained as an ordinand with AMiE and Annabel and I are very excited about what God has in store for us as a family.
Over the past few years, it became apparent to us as a family that we felt called to minister in Scotland and we felt a particular desire to be involved in faithful gospel pastoral ministry north of the border. My big prayer is that we could be involved in the great commission in Scotland and hope to be involved in planting churches in whatever capacity that looks like.
In July we made the big move up from London to Glasgow so I could commence my theological training. As I undergo theological training at Edinburgh Theological Seminary, I’ll be commuting through whilst we live in Glasgow and be based at St. Silas with Martin Ayers. Glasgow is an amazing city and St. Silas is a large, vibrant congregation in the heart of the West End with many students and young families attending. It will be great to get stuck in with church life where there will be plenty of great gospel opportunities. We have had a very warm welcome since we arrived and we are looking forward to being involved with such a lively, growing church family.
• Give thanks for our time at St. John’s and pray for the continued ministry of the church in that community.
• Please pray that we settle in well living in Scotland and being part of St. Silas and as I take on the challenges of full-time study.
• Please pray that we would know contentment in Christ as we go through these changes and that we would be trusting God for all his provision to meet our needs over the next three years and where he leads us.