Vocation Stories

A range of lay and ordained people from across our Diocese share their vocation stories: how they felt called to their role, their experience of training and describe what their role entails. 

Revd Emma Harte-Waters (Stipendiary Curate)

"What I essentially do is live and share God's love." Growing up on a council estate, Emma never thought she'd end up attending theological college. Here she shares her story of how she felt called to ministry, recounts her experience of training and describes the day-to-day life of a curate in the Parishes of Shildon and Eldon.

Revd John D'Silva (Stipendiary Curate)

"Every day is quite different." Although John started thinking about ordination when he was just a teenager, it wasn't until he joined the Ministry Experience Scheme that he really understood his calling. Here John describes his journey to ordination and explains what his role entails.

Fiona Usher (Chaplain Team Leader)

"No two days are the same" Fiona was called to chaplaincy 37 years ago and is now Chaplain Team Leader for Northumbrian Industrial Mission and Lead Chaplain at Newcastle International Airport. Here she explains the importance of chaplaincy in the workplace and why she enjoys her job so much.

Rev Michael Baldwin (Stipendiary Curate)

"I always wanted to do something with my faith." Although even as a young child, Michael wanted to use his faith, he thanks the Ministry Experience Scheme at St. Nics for helping bring out his gifts and discern his call. In this video, Michael tells of his journey to ordination and shares his experience of life as a deacon in Upper Weardale.

Hadyn Beckwith (Licensed Lay Minister)

"There was something more that God wanted me to do." Following the death of his dad, Hadyn was called back to church. With everything he got involved in, he felt an ever growing 'niggle' that God had a plan for him. After exploring various options, he began Reader training. Here, he tells his story and how he enjoys reaching out to his local community.

Rev Susan Sweeting (Self-Supporting Curate)

"Proof that God calls us at any stage of our lives." Coming from a non-Christian family, Susan had a life-long yearning to know more about God. Following 31 years in the NHS, an opportunity arose when her sister and brother-in-law decided to renew their vows. Two years later, Susan started training for ordination. Here she describes what a privilege it is for her to be able to serve God and his people.

Rev Heather Ross (Self-Supporting Curate)

"That personal touch brings comfort and hope in funeral ministry." Heather began training to be a Reader in 2015 but felt God calling her to further study and ordination. Here she speaks about the everyday joys and privileges of being a priest.

Diane Wing (Lay Pastoral Minister)

"I absolutely love it!" Diane started pastoral visiting in 2018/2019 and was then invited to complete a course by her vicar. She thoroughly enjoys her role as a Lay Pastoral Minister at St. Luke's, Ferryhill and the opportunity it offers to meet with lots of different people.

Lisa Oram (Licensed Lay Minister in training)

"I cannot fault Lindisfarne for their training, patience, kindness and understanding." As the first blind woman to go through Licensed Lay Minister training, Lisa wants to encourage anyone who feels called to ministry to pursue it.

Mary-Anne Freer (Lay Pastoral Minister)

"The training was really an opportunity to think and reflect." Mary-Anne has always been someone that enjoys talking to people, being a listening ear and praying with others, so deciding to train as a Lay Pastoral Minister was a natural next step. Here she talks about what her role entails.

Peter Keeney (Lay Pastoral Minister)

"The lecturers were so supportive" A conversation with his vicar helped Peter recognise pastoral gifts he had to offer. Although he was diagnosed with dyslexia half way through the training, Peter's lecturers couldn't have been more supportive, changing their approach. Now, having completed the training, Peter talks about his ever-evolving role.


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