It was during my time in the choir that I first felt God’s calling on my life
Ellie Launders-Brown: to be ordained deacon in 2021
I am Ellie Launders-Brown, I am training for ordination at St Mellitus College South West Centre based in Plymouth and currently living and ministering in the diocese of Bath & Wells.
Before training I was an aircraft engineer, spending 14 years in the Royal Navy and a further 12 years as a civilian contractor.
I will be serving my curacy in the East Scarsdale benefice consisting of the parishes of Shirebrook, Pleasley, Upper Langwith and Whaley Thorns.
I grew up in a village called Whitburn, on the North East Coast just to the north of Sunderland.
I was baptised in the Methodist church, but I desperately wanted to sing.
After being told by my junior school music teacher I had the most untrainable voice he’d ever heard, I went to join the local parish church choir.
It was during my time in the choir that I first felt God’s calling on my life, but at that point, women couldn’t be ordained into the priesthood, and I had neither the maturity or the experience to know how to respond to that calling.
I have been with my partner Jo for 25 years and in a civil partnership 15 years. She was born in Derbyshire and is delighted to be returning home. We have two labradors Toby and Gypsy.
Reconciling faith and sexuality was a difficult time and being banished from the church simply because of who I am hurt me and cut deeply.
I felt disguarded and abandonded, but God never gave up on me and still kept calling me into ordained ministry.
When I finally answered this calling with a “yes”, I suddenly felt free, protected, needed and loved and I knew where my life was going and that God had a plan for my life.
Inclusion is important to me and it’s what drives me forward in my ministry.
I firmly believe that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (psalm 139:14), and I look to seek out and welcome all who have been or feel excluded from hearing God’s message and make the church an inclusive and safe place for everyone.
I have a passion for choral music, nature and God’s creation and following the highs and mainly lows of Sunderland Football Club.
Favourite Bible passage: Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Favourite hymn: And can it be – Charles Wesley, when I answered God’s call, the release and clarity that I felt resonated with the words of the chorus:-
My chains fell off,
my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed thee.