Welcome to my first article as your new curate! My name is Vivienne Starkie, and I really am a shiny new curate, having been ordained as a deacon at Lichfield Cathedral on 2nd July! However, I am no stranger to the Mid-Trent area, having lived and worshiped in Weston since 1985. I never imagined when I moved here at 31 that I would be ordained as a minister when I was 63. I was then a Prosecuting Solicitor on maternity leave with a baby. I joined the Crown Prosecution Service after its formation in 1987 and had another daughter in 1988. 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. Ever since I embraced my vocation, I've felt a bubble of joy within me.
I was accepted for training as a minister and in 2014 began training at Queens Foundation, Birmingham. For the last three years I have been learning how to minister, attending all ten churches in the Benefice. I have been overwhelmed by the welcome, love and support I have recieved, and I do feel that my success in completing the course greatly reflects that support and help I have recieved. I have discovered much about each of the ten churches. All are unique and some are very different from others in style of worship, but all are united in the love, friendship and faith of the congregations. We are very lucky to be able to attend such a variety of churches. try a different church, taste the rich depths of our services and decide which sort of spirituality suits you. We are all different and feel comfortable with different styles, so don't give up if you don't feel comfortable with one style, try another!
I am looking forward to my new position as curate and feel really blessed to be able to serve such a lively and beautiful Benefice as Mid-Trent.
Rev'd Vivienne Starkie