My name is Mel Hartley and I have just completed two years with St Hild College, studying for an MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission.
I shall be ordained in June 2021 and serve my curacy in the north of the diocese, in the parishes of Eyam, Baslow and Foolow.
I came to faith as child, when at the age of 7, I used to question the caretaker of a local Wesleyan chapel as he arrived.
I asked him so many questions he started a Sunday School, which was the start of my faith journey.
I attended church through my years as a child and then a youth, occasionally with my mum and brother, but after a couple of earlier years, I attended alone.
My faith grew and I became increasingly frustrated with how to communicate my wonderful experiences with church, into words and practices that my family would relate to or have an interest in – I guess this sparked my passion for mission and reaching those beyond the fringes of our churches.
I have been in education for the last twenty years – starting as a lecturer of music, then moving to classroom teaching and also supporting further education students with specific learning disabilities.
Along side my career in education I continued to lead in churches: being a local preacher in the Methodist Church and leading various groups, projects and times of worship.
I completed an MA in Mission in 2011 alongside my teaching – to enable my ministry further.
I candidated successfully for Methodist Ministry and started my training at Queens College… but there was something that didn’t quite fit.
It was training alongside ordinand colleagues in an ecumenical environment that allowed me to explore my personal call further.
After much searching, I asked the Methodist Church to release me from training and found my home in the local Anglican church – where my husband was already leading Messy Church – we were already rooted amongst our Anglican friends.
Several years later, I became a candidate for ordained ministry in the Anglican Church and was overwhelmingly affirmed.
My prayer is that I enable others through my own call, and that I can demonstrate His love in areas of our communities where the church doesn’t always reach.
As a trauma survivor, I spent many years feeling unworthy.
The verse from Jeremiah 2:13, talking of broken cisterns that hold no water, reminds me that we all have the ability to hold streams of living water when we learn to fully embrace his grace. My favourite Bible verse is Galatians 2:21, ‘I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.’ My favourite hymn is Amazing Grace.
The countryside is my sanctuary and I love walks. I’m a creative person and as such I cover my desk with pictures, journaling, diagrams, art, sewing and music… and I love making lists to make everything ordered! I am married to Matt, and we have four amazing daughters: Elizabeth (16), Evelyn (13), Niamh (11), Miriam (9)… and an Irish Red Setter called Milo!
My favourite Bible verse is Galatians 2:21: ‘I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.’
My favourite hymn is Amazing Grace.