Dawn Knight: ordained deacon on 30 June 2019
"I am completely open to what and where God's mission takes me."
I’ve been married to Kevin for nearly 30 years, and am mum to 3 adult children, two here on earth, and one in God’s care.
I grew up in a working-class family in East London. My only involvement with Church was through “Church parades” when I was in the Brownies and Guides. At the age of 11, I was presented with a New Testament at school, decided to read it, and began to pray. At 18 I began my nursing career, qualified as a Registered Nurse and eventually specialised in Occupational Health. Having been an Occupational Health Manager for the last 10 years, I finally gave this up in mid-May.
Apart from getting married in Church, it wasn’t until we had our first child and wanted him baptised that I started attending Church.
I was confirmed in Lichfield diocese but really began to grow in faith when I became part of Emmanuel, Swadlincote, 23 years ago. I became a Sunday School leader and a flautist in the Music group. I eventually became a licensed Reader and was passionate about this ministry, which I did alongside secular work and bringing up a family. I never saw any reason to be ordained …….. and, in fact, was inexplicably irritated by Readers who went on to be ordained!
Tragically, my youngest son died in an accident abroad 6 years ago but during the anger and lamenting with God, amidst the trauma and grief, I was aware of God’s presence surrounding and carrying me. I saw Christ in others as I was supported and cared for by my priest, church, family and friends, and in the kindness and practical help of strangers. One morning, about 18 months after the accident, I awoke feeling “different” to usual and changed in some indescribable way. In the next few weeks I found the word “ordination” increasingly intruding into my life and any previous feelings of irritation had somehow gone- God clearly has a sense of humour! Eventually I thought I’d best vocalise what was happening and spoke to my priest in charge….. and so I embarked on a journey of exploration and discovery that has led to my ordination on 30th June.
I’m really excited to be moving to Derby and serving my curacy at Allestree St Nicholas and St Paul’s in Quarndon. I am completely open to what and where God’s mission takes me and know that whatever I think may be a good idea, God usually has something else planned - usually not something I imagined, but far better! I’m looking forward to living in a new place, working with new colleagues and making new friends, as well as keeping in touch with my old ones. I confess it is also a bit scary, having given up my nursing vocation and which has been one of the things that defined me for all my adult life.
Whenever I have spare time I enjoy Zumba, playing my flute and cross-stitch. I also love spending time with my husband and children and holidaying in Europe. I’m rather partial to exploring other churches and cathedrals and confess I do like shoes and have a number of quirky ones!
Dawn studied at The Queen's Foundation, Birmingham and will serve her curacy at Allestree St Nicholas and Quarndon.
Favourite Bible passage:
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
This is because in the early days of my grieving I kept seeing this verse in various places and it comforts me and gives such hope. My late 16-year-old was also in the midst of reading a book by Max Lucado called 3:16- The Numbers of Hope.
“Because he lives” - it has such an uplifting tune and the chorus reflects our trust in God and his faithfulness to us.
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives”
Those ordained deacon by Bishop Libby at Derby Cathedral on 30 June 2019: Sally-Anne Beecham, Rhoda Blackwell, Brenda Jackson, Elaine Jones, Dawn Knight, James Millwain, Jenny Newman and Anthony Till