I felt God speak to me through song
John Ferguson: to be ordained deacon in 2021
My name is John, and I live in Overseal, a village at the very south of the Diocese near Swadlincote. I’m looking forward to being ordained to work in the parish of St. Barnabas’, Derby, as a Self-Supporting Minister (SSM). As a SSM I will continue to work full time as an IT Manager for a well-known discount retailer.
I grew up in a small village near Blackburn, Lancashire and started attending church at a young age with my sister. We were drawn in by the vibrant Sunday School and by the time I moved away from home to attend University, I was a leader in the Sunday School and a member of both the music group and PCC.
I moved to Derby in 2005 to study Computer Networks at Derby University. On leaving my previous Church, our curate put me in touch with St. Peter’s and this has been my home for nearly 16 years.
During my time at St. Peter’s, I have held various roles: a Youth Leader, a Home Group Leader, a member of the PCC and a member of various working groups. I have also been involved in several outreach activities such as Recharge (church in a pub) and Alpha Café (a social event around the Alpha course). But my primary role was as a Worship Leader. It is from this that my journey to ordination started.
As a child I learnt to play the Piano and was a member of the school choir. I still enjoy playing the piano and singing today.
It was during my time at St. Peter’s that I developed my ministry as a Worship Leader. Part of this development involved attending the Mission Worship Conference in Eastbourne every couple of years. In November 2017, while at this conference, I felt God speak to me through song. I came away with a deep desire to grow deeper in my faith through study, but resisted the call to ordination.
In September 2018 I started a part-time course at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. It wasn’t long before my cohort were encouraging me to consider ordination and a few weeks later God spoke to me again. This time it was through a vision (but it still involved a song) and the rest, as they say, is history. I was fortunate to be able to remain at Queen’s to complete my training.
In my spare time, other than music, I enjoy Scuba Diving. This has taken me to some wonderful places, and I especially enjoy diving in the Red Sea. Recently, my experiences diving have led me to make small changes to minimise my impact on the environment.
I’m still working out what ordained ministry will look like for me, I’m sure it will involve music in some way. But I also feel the fact I will be staying in secular employment could be key, helping to bridge the gap between secular and sacred.
Favourite Hymn – There’s too many to choose from, but Stuart Townend’s In Christ Alone has always had a special place in my heart “for I am his, and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ”
Favourite Bible Verse – John 1:1-5 (if it needs to be 1 verse, then John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word”