Meet our ordinands: Nicola McNally

Nicola McNally: to be ordained deacon in 2020

My vision of ordained ministry is very people orientated

I am Nicola McNally.  Donal and I have been married for 27 years, and we are blessed with two children (now 19 and 23 years old).  

For the past 30 years I have been a University Lecturer / Associate Professor in Engineering Materials.  

I have been working half-time since the birth of our son, so this enabled me in the last three years to study part-time at Ripon College Cuddesdon alongside my job at the university of Nottingham.  

Now I look forward to a new chapter of life as full-time Curate in Tideswell Parish.

Throughout my life, and various ups and downs, I have a strong sense that God always provides, although not of course always in the way one imagined he would! 

I was fortunate to have been brought to faith as a child by my Christian mother, so I can’t actually remember ever not believing in God. However, one’s faith deepens and grows. 

Leading an ecumenical group ‘CEPlus’ as an undergraduate at Bath University expanded my understanding of Christian community and taught me about articulating my faith. 

Introduction to the Taizé community in France, including a week in silence whilst doing my PhD at Oxford, gave me a love of meditative prayer. 

My husband and children have taught me a lot about the power of love. 

I have always worshipped at the Church of England church parish in the community in which I live, and being a member of Parochial Church Councils in Dorset, Oxford, Bristol and Nottinghamshire has taught me a lot about the ups and down of church life! 

However, I didn’t seriously recognise a call to ministry until about five years ago when acting as the lay lead in PMC (Partnership for Missional Change) in my home parish. 

I realised that my day job, important to me though it was, was beginning to feel like something that got in the way of what I really wanted to do.  

My vision of ordained ministry is very people orientated.

I feel my major task is to let everyone know that they are loved and valued by a wonderful triune God.

 A relationship with Jesus should be a growing dynamic thing for every believer and I hope to be a small channel through which the Holy Spirit can help people come to faith and grow in that faith. 

Although I have not been in Derbyshire very long, I already feel a great love for the people and countryside. 

I look forward to getting to know the people and churches of my parish and discerning what my vision for the future there should be. 

This Covid year has certainly thrown us all challenges but, as Julian of Norwich so aptly puts it, God did not say “You will not be tempest-tossed”, but “You will never be overcome.”

I love being outdoors. Cycling is one hobby - my husband and I have a special tandem which is a recumbent at the front and sit up at the back. That way we can both see where we are going, and chat to one another easily! 

My other main hobby (if I get time) is sailing. I hope to join the club at Carsington. 

I also enjoy walking and one of the blessings of my new parish is walking between the five churches through the countryside. 

Inside, I have recently rediscovered a love of sewing whilst making face masks for the family and friends.

I have played the violin all my life and there is nothing quite like the single-minded concentration of playing a piece of music, particularly in an orchestra for pushing cares or worries out of mind.   


Favourite Bible passage: Psalm 139 9,10 - If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.

Favourite hymn: The Servant Song" is one of my favourite hymns and pretty much sums up how I feel about my calling, and has also meant a lot to me when I have been caring for relatives suffering from the cruel disease of dementia.

The Diocese of Derby

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