I was born in the ‘swinging sixties’, at least I’m told they were ‘swinging’ I was too young to know! I find it difficult however to think that anything ‘swinging’ happened in the Welsh valley town of Tredegar where I was born in the 60’s! I wonder if the ‘swingy-ness’ of the 60’s is as much an urban myth as the ‘golden era’ of the coal pit? It seems that given time we are capable of romanticising some of the most iconic and yet dark periods of our history. I was two months old when the colliery of Ty Trist made a widow of my grandmother and made my mam fatherless, and yet I still harbour romantic notions of how it must have been!
Mine was a non-conformist upbringing, even though I was the first and only one of my family who went to chapel regularly. I toddled along to Baptist Sunday school at the Chapel at the bottom of our street from the age of 5 or 6 and did so until my wife and I married there in 1986. It was in that Baptist chapel that I was exposed to some of the most memorable fiery preaching ever to come out of Wales. One acclaimed preacher once waxed so lyrical and powerfully about Moses receiving the Ten Commandments that many in the congregation said they could smell the sulphur off the mountain!
Well, that was then and this is now…and I’d like to think I’m still too young to be granted permission to be maudlin down memory lane just yet, even though we the doting Grandparents of a two year old. Linda and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage this autumn, which like any vintage gets better as it gets older…at least that what they tell me! Linda is a community midwife in Falmouth. We have a two children; a daughter of 28 who is a community care support worker and a son of 26, both living in Helston.
We moved to Cornwall in 1997 when I was invited to pastor several Pentecostal churches in the South West of the county. We felt such an affinity with this beautiful Celtic county that when the time came for us to leave 5 years later…we didn’t! Once the decision was made to stay, we found God was gracious in providing us with our own home, new jobs for both Linda and me and the children well settled in their new environment.
In late 2007 I unexpectedly found myself seeking ordination -this time in the surprising and unfamiliar setting of the Church of England. Much to my (and I think if they are honest…everyone else’s amazement) I was recommended for training by the Truro Diocese. After ordination in 2012 I went to serve as curate of the Boscastle with Tintagel group of Churches. This is a rural benefice with many diverse communities and each had a distinctive character. All had beautiful churches to maintain. I also served as a Governor for two primary schools, which I greatly enjoyed. As I look forward to the future, I count it an enormous privilege to be appointed as the Rector of the Lostwithiel Benefice of Parishes, and very much look forward to meeting you all and serving God and the church in this beautiful place.