stipendiary ministry. I was sure God was calling me to use my skills to lead a church, but God had other plans and after two years of discernment, interviews, advice and guidance I went to the Bishops selection process (then ACCM) only to be told at the end of the three-day intensive process that they felt that they had not got to know me and therefore could not recommend me. I felt disappointed and disillusioned with the Church but never lost the sense of Gods calling on my life.
In 1991 that calling underpinned a career move to Fiji in the South Pacific where I had opportunity to bring Christian Ethics and leadership to my role as an Advisor to the Ministry of Health. God also opened up the opportunities to lead and serve as an Elder in the Baptist church with opportunities unfolding to lead worship, change lives and to reach out to people through loving kindness and even to lead the first televised Songs of Praise. This was ministry.
I returned to England in 1993 to continue my career in the NHS and still exploring Gods purpose. I felt God clearly saying to me that I want you now to go all the way and following early retirement from a very successful career in healthcare, I submitted myself again to the discernment process. Thankfully this time to be recommended for training. I have developed a portfolio of servant ministries and is currently studying for ordained ministry within the Church of England. A committed Evangelical Christian with a heart for mission I currently serve as;
- A police chaplain
- Director and Trustee of the Diocesan retreat centres
- Governor at Hixon School
- Leader of Filling Station
I am also involved with the Academic Board at Queens Foundation, on the executive of Love Stafford and of Stafford Interfaith Group
Taking the opportunity to work on mission, I regularly lead school assemblies and supports communion in a local nursing home.
I am not sure where God will lead me in the future, and the thought of "all the way" is scary, but I know that He as a plan for my life and with the support of a fabulous wife Lynne at my side I know it will be exciting if not always an easy journey.
Rev. Vivienne Starkie
tel: 01889 - 271046
tel: 01889 - 505190 .
I was born in the then mill town of Batley, West Yorkshire, the younger of two children. Now married with two grown up children, I moved to Staffordshire in 1994 with my career in the NHS.
My faith journey has been a long and often arduous one. First submitting myself to the lengthy discernment process in 1989 when the plan was to give up my career and enter the
Rev. Mike Cadwallader
tel: 01889 - 270418
I was ordained as deacon in 2017 and appointed as Curate here. I have been ordained as priest in July 2018. I am married to Ian, with two grown up daughters and two grandsons. I never imagined when I was 33 that I would be ordained as a minister when I was 63. I was then a Prosecuting Solicitor with the Crown Prosecution Service with two small children. I only began teaching Sunday School to avoid the embarrassment of chasing around church after a toddler!
As the years passed, I increasingly felt I should be doing more. Out of the blue, I decided to take early retirement. Still reeling from this unexpected change of direction, I suddenly realised that God was calling me to ministry and that my professional skills in advocacy, my passion for justice, my concerns for victims of hate crime and domestic violence, were all just preparation for a vocation in ministry. I still resisted: I was just not 'holy' enough! I decided to take a Pathways Course and finally accepted that God was calling me to ministry. I feel very fortunate to be appointed as a curate in the MId-Trent Benefice, a rural team of 10 churches. Each church is unique with a wide range of services from Book of Common Prayer to café-style. Ever since I embraced my vocation, I've felt a bubble of joy within me.
I grew up in a village south of Leicester, and with my family I worshipped in the village church every Sunday. At the age of four I became an altar boy alongside my dad, who swung the incense, and by the age of eight I knew that one day I'd be a vicar …… but spent the next 40 years running away from the very idea of it.
At my age (mid 60's) - it is something of a novelty being the new kid on the block! But that is not to say I am new in the faith - and like everyone who loves the Lord I know I am on a journey and part God's plan.
My family was by tradition Methodist - but by no means active. My brother and I were parcelled off to Sunday school - probably to give mum & dad a break, and I guess that is where the seeds of the Christian faith were planted in me.
Through a friend in my secondary school years, I joined the Boys' Brigade where I progressed through the ranks to leader/officer. When the BB Company (which was unusually associated with the local Anglian church rather than the more typical Baptist church) folded, I joined the church's youth group where my faith really became challenged and stretched. However it was when working on a programme called Evangelism Explosion that I was confronted with the simple truth that my salvation was through the grace of God and not by my efforts. I had spent a long time in the church and in Christian youth work - yet only at that point coming to a real faith in Christ!
Over the following years I have lived in Burton and Derby, moving down to Handsacre and then Great Haywood in 2005.
A lot has happened along the way - often not noticed at the time - but looking back…… well that's a different matter. Life is like an ocean voyage - sometimes calm and blissful - often stormy and dangerous. It is only looking back that I see the people and events that God has used in His plan to bring me to where I am now. In spite of my own failings, I can also see that the one ever present thread through my life is the love of God
Meanwhile, I'm still in full time work as an engineer in the food & drink industry, dreaming of retirement!! In my "spare" time, I'm involved in local politics and I'm a member of Stafford Morris Men. When we get the chance, my wife and I like to get away in our motorhome with our rescue collie cross.
At the age of 17, my Head of Sixth Form suggested I should attend a week's conference at St John's College, Durham for those considering Ordained Ministry. I had no idea why she thought I'd be interested and nothing could have been further from my mind. I dutifully attended, but wanted nothing to do with it.
Having left school, I trained as a teacher and taught in various secondary schools. It wasn't until many years later that I finally became unable to ignore the sense that this wasn't where I was meant to be. At last, one cold winter morning before I got in the car, I cried out to Father God and said:
Lord, grab me by the scruff of the neck and
My journey of knocking on the ministry door had begun, and eventually I found myself back at Durham University training to be an Ordained Minister. I served my Curacy in East Hull, having been ordained by Archbishop John Sentamu in York Minster. I then became Priest in Charge of 4 parishes with 5 churches in 10 very rural communities within Coventry Diocese, where I was surprised to find God leading me to set up teams to help me lead two Messy Church services each month, Café Church and an amazing Puppet Ministry, among other things I'd never have dreamed up for myself! The two personal highlights for me were to be invited to speak at Lambeth Palace, addressing Bishops, Archdeacons and high ranking military personnel about our Messy Church and Café Church outreach to a mixed military and civilian community within our parishes; and to be invited by the Bishop of Coventry to spend a month representing Coventry Diocese in Kaduna Diocese in northern Nigeria, where I made great friends with Bishop Timothy and Rev Mishael Andy, amongst so many other brothers and sisters in Christ.
push and shove me to where you want me to be.
During the past 15 years, I've learnt that obeying God's call on your life is not just a journey but an amazing voyage of discovery ….. one where Father God literally takes you to places you never dreamed of going and where, in his strength, you meet challenges you never imagined you'd have the courage to face. And through all my Christian journey, I have been continually blessed when I least expected to be.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.