Learn to be a blessing to each other and to grow and nurture each other in our faith
Bex Allpress: to be ordained deacon in June 2021
My name is Bex and I will be serving as a curate across four parish churches within Swadlincote Minster:
- Emmanuel Church, in the Parish of Swadlincote
- Saint Peter’s Church, in the Parish of Hartshorne
- Saint John’s Church, in the Parish of Newhall and…
- Saint George and Saint Mary’s Church in the Parish of Church Gresley.
During my curacy placement, I will have plenty of opportunities to work with lots of people, from across all four parish churches, as part of a dynamic ministry team within the minster.
I am excited to be serving and learning within existing and new forms of ministry within the Swadlincote area, sharing my vocational journey alongside others who are realising their own.
Thankfully I am not an entire stranger to the minster having been on placement here over the last two years during my training for ordained ministry with Saint Mellitus College.
During my training I have had the chance to be involved with aspects of ministry across the Swadlincote area which has helped to form a platform on which to grow during my time here as a curate.
Prior to working in ministry, I worked for 15 years in the National Health Service across a variety of surgical specialities within the operating departments.
Despite sounding gruesome, it was a really engaging career where I gained plenty of experience across life matters.
Although I have some fond memories, I felt God was calling me to explore working further within full time ministry.
My journey in the Christian faith began when I was only three years old attending Sunday school on a regular basis at my local parish church in Derbyshire.
From the age of 14, I then began volunteering as a Sunday school teacher until at 18 years old I left to study at university in Wales.
It was in Wales that I met my husband and after eight years we moved back to Derbyshire.
Only after we moved back did I feel God was drawing me to be more involved once more within the church.
I began helping as a leader within our local church parent and toddler group and when I had to give this up due to changes at work, I first thought that my sense of calling was a call to return back to continue serving this group.
Despite a lengthy discernment process, I realised that God has His timings in hand because the year I was ready to begin formal ordination training was the same year that the new St. Mellitus College opened in Nottingham.
I was super excited to begin my training there and have the privilege of being the first ordinand from Derby to train with them.
My journey is probably one best described as being quite ordinary but filled with extra-ordinary moments.
As for me, I have just this year decided to have a go at growing my own vegetables.
It’s something that I’ve never done before so everything is a learning journey to see what takes well and what doesn’t.
I recently harvested my first crop of potatoes and, although they were smaller than expected, they still tasted delicious!
Favourite Bible Message: When it comes to having favourite bible messages, the importance for me is that the messages speak something significant into the way we live our lives. There are three Bible messages that I incorporate daily into my life. The first of these is taken from Matthew 22:37-40. In this message, Jesus shares with us the two most important rules for living well; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. Two very simple rules for living a healthy and active faith, love God and love those around you. From these two simple rules flows God’s transformative power into our lives and into the world. As we start to see positive transformations, we become more attuned to the various gifts and talents that God blesses us all with. We must recognise how these gifts are to be used to help each other in our discipleship journey’s and how we must support and encourage each other, through the good times and in the pain of life. The Apostle Paul reflects on this in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 12:14 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone…Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many” and in Romans 12:15-16 when he says that as a community of disciples we must “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (and) live in harmony with one another”.
In summary; To learn to be a blessing to each other and to grow and nurture each other in our faith, requires loving God, loving each other, recognising what each of us has to contribute to one another and finding strength in a community who endeavour together through each season in life. That’s my take-home message for effective everyday living in Christian faith which I draw upon daily for inspiration.