Monday, 18 February 2019 13:33

Jan Hutchinson

"If God is in control of your life then nothing is impossible."

Jan Hutchinson: ordained priest, 29 June 2019

Hi, my name is Jan Hutchinson; the Reverend Jan Hutchinson.

Gosh! That’s taking some getting used to, especially so in that it involved a long journey of discovery.

My Brother and I were streetwise kids, left to our own devices, we learned to survive in any way we could. Along with my mother we often found ourselves sleeping on the streets.

I didn’t attend school until I was 11 and left school at the age of fourteen, barely able to read.

Shortly after leaving school I also left home.

Finding low paid work, I mostly sheltered in empty houses.

At 17, I joined the Army where, during tests, it was discovered that I was dyslexic.

Despite this, I scored well on the intelligence scale. The Army placed me into special education and brought me to a good reading standard.

I went on to train as a radar operator and spent most of my time in the Outer Hebrides with the responsibility for air traffic control.

I have to say that the Army was my first experience of a stable home; it was my family.

On leaving the Army I married my Husband Peter, we had our 48th wedding anniversary in June 2018. We have one son, also called Peter, and four Grandchildren.

I suppose I could say my journey to faith was an “on the road to Damascus experience.”

I was in my mid- thirties when one morning I went to buy a Sunday paper and found myself walking past the shop and into the nearby church.

Despite never having attended a church, I can only describe that experience of being one of an instant understanding and an acceptance of God in my life.

I continued to attend church, was baptised and confirmed.

Growing in faith over the years (which included a good deal of growing pains) I went forward by being licensed as a Reader in 1999. I was licensed in York Minster by Archbishop John Sentamu, who gave me a personal message which I have carried over the years and continue to do so.

That message played a massive part in my journey to ordination.

Directed by God and prompted by others, and with the support of my family, I set out on what appeared to be another impossible journey.

I think we can all agree, though, that if God is in control of your life then nothing is impossible.

Needless to say, the impossible did indeed become possible and my journey continues.

>> See also: Vocations - hearing God's call

That journey is incredibly important to me, simply because people are incredibly important to me, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who feel they have little worth.

God gave me worth, my mission is to do likewise - to give of myself and to share my life experiences to inspire others to not only find worth in themselves, but to find the loving God in their lives.

Therefore, in trepidation, in the vulnerability of who I am, I hope to serve those in my benefice, in my community and those I meet in the circumstances of everyday life.

Jan is now serving as Assistant Curate at St Wilfrid West Hallam, Holy Trinity Mapperley and St Andrew Stanley.

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Last modified on Monday, 15 July 2019 12:50

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