I don't think I was prepared for how life changing it could be. There's a sense where I have been through a process of disorientation to become re-orientated in the direction that God planned.
Chris Beaumont will be ordained as deaconon Saturday 5 July at Bristol Cathedral. Here he reflects back on his calling to ordained ministry and looks forward to beginning his curacy in Bradley Stoke.
The calling to ordained ministry was not an easy road to tread.
I've been lucky to spend two years in Cambridge studying theology, but I don't think I was prepared for how life changing it could be. There's a sense where I have been through a process of disorientation to become re-orientated in the direction that God planned. This involved a process of loss as God stripped away the things I defined myself by, and started to tell me who I am in Him. It was painful but well worth it, although by no means is that process complete. I think it becomes lifelong as we learn to be dependent on the Lord more and more.
I felt called to ordained ministry at the age of 16, but through various circumstances was not ready to start the process of discernment until my early 30s. When I was 29 I caught meningitis and whilst recovering over a long period of time I felt God remind me of my call. That was the beginning of exploring ordained ministry.
I would say that route to ordination and beyond is not easy, and it never holds what you expect, but it is totally worth it. It will blow your expectations out of the water, but in ways you had never imagined. You learn to see things in a completely different light - like switching from normal TVto HD.
Starting a curacy in Bradley Stoke, I think I'm most looking forward to being rooted somewhere, where I can invest and discern what God is doing already in our midst. Secondly I can't wait to work alongside and learn from my training incumbent, Paul Hinckley. I've got a lot to learn!
The pre-ordination retreat I'm hoping will give me space to really think and pray - I've got two children and our house is never quiet, so this time is of real value for me.
I thinkthe ordination service will beone of those 'champagne moments' in the life of the church - to quote my old vicar Mark Bailey. I can't wait to celebrate with my friends at the end of one stage of this journey and the beginning of another.