Jill Hancock: ordained deacon, 1 July 2018
Jill is now the Assistant Curate with the East Scarsdale Team Ministry. She writes:
From an early age I knew how important it was to share and care for others.
Hospitality was at the heart of our family and there would always be an extra place at our dinner table for visitors.
Growing up, I never really had a desire to ‘be something’ and took up all sorts of jobs. I tried hair dressing, travel consultancy, care work, ambulance driving, I joined the Special Constabulary and eventually settled in a job as a nursing auxiliary.
My work as a nurse opened my eyes to life, life at its beginning, life in its fullness, in its messiness and life at its end.
It was during this time that I had the sense that I didn’t actually have to ‘become something’ all I needed was to be myself and to be myself was to simply offer hospitality. I felt a nudge from God.
In 2007, I trained as a Church Army Evangelist and I spent nine years ministering to the vulnerable and marginalised in deprived and fractured communities.
And that’s what I think the role of a deacon is, to share in the life of the community, to offer those in need God’s hospitality; to share in the celebrations, struggles and mess.
I recently finished my theological training at The College of The Resurrection in Mirfield near Wakefield.
The college is situated in 24 acres of beautiful gardens, orchards and woodland within the grounds of a monastery. It’s home to a community of monks who root their lives in the Benedictine tradition.
This monastic rhythm of life teaches the importance of a balance between prayer, study, work, rest, and hospitality - principles which I think are the key in ministry.
I feel very privileged as a curate to have the freedom to get to know the area and to listen to people’s stories.
During September - the start of the new school year - I’ll be getting to know the students and staff at the local schools and joining the chaplaincy team - and I've been very much looking forward to this.
I should also mention…… I am married to Dave and have two grown-up daughters and we live in Bolsover with our little dog Bugsy!
Among my leisure activities are fishing, wine making and crafting.
See also: Explore your calling with us
Favourite Bible passage:
My favourite Bible passage is Roman’s 8:28.
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
This passage has got me through some tough times, times when my faith was in my boots and I struggled to understand what good could possibly come out of such pain.
My favourite prayer has to be The Lords Prayer. It is filled with incredible meaning and summarises our faith.
You don’t have to think about it, you can say it in every situation, most people can share in it and it does what it says on the tin. Its a prayer of praise, petition, penitence and grace.
My favourite hymn is "I will offer up my life", by Matt Redman.
When I was a little girl, I always knew I was loved by Jesus because I met him one evening in my mum's 'best room'; he was sat on the settee. He didn't say anything to me but I just knew I belonged to him.
I guess I've always had a sense of being 'called' but was never quite sure what that would look like, so I just followed.
I will offer up my life in spirit and truth
Pouring out the oil of love, as my worship to you
In surrender I must give my every part
Lord, receive this sacrifice of a broken heart
Jesus, what can I give, what can I bring
To so faithful a Friend, to so loving a King?
Saviour, what can be said, what can be sung
As a praise of Your name for the things You have done?
Oh, my words could not tell, not even in part
Of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart
You deserve my every breath, for You've paid the great cost
Giving up your life to death, even death on the cross
You took all my shame away, there defeated my sin
Open up the gates of heaven and have beckoned me in