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Ministry Team Letter for the Month


Hello Everyone,


How do you feel about giving away your books?


Having just returned from unloading another car full of books at Oxfam, we agree, that reducing our library, is probably the hardest aspect of packing up, in preparation for moving. We have a lot of books!


Our book shelves tell the story of our lives, so we will give you a brief browse, by way of introduction to us.


We have a large horticultural and ‘environmental’ section. This reflects Neil’s previous career in professional and therapeutic horticulture and our shared interest in the natural world, sustainable living, and food production. For example, we’ve books linked to allotment gardening and Permaculture Design. ‘Creating a Forest Garden’ may finally come in handy now, at Sandford, amongst all the trees!


There are also plenty of books linked to health and wellbeing, including fascinating medical anthropology studies, reflecting Deborah’s occupational therapy and social science background. Who would not want to read, ‘The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing and The Human Condition’?


Looking at our travel books and maps, you would be right in thinking we enjoy walking, cycling and exploration, in this country and further afield. We have kept many of our books on Wales, collected over the past 20 years we have lived here, including a guide to the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way. We enjoyed cycling this route last year. One of the attractions of moving to Dorset will be having a new landscape to discover.   


Many of our books reflect our shared passions, for example, for art, design, and creativity, but our literary collection also reflects our different personalities. We have contentious shelving areas; like the many, Doctor Who paperbacks, collected by one of us as a youngster and cookery books, like the ‘Yemen Cookbook’, just in case we might want to serve up locusts! Fortunately, the stash of escapist fiction and historical romance, are all on Kindle, avoiding the ‘stay’, or ‘go’, dilemma.


As might be expected, our theology books are extensive, reflecting our life-long faith journeys and our different ministries. Family encouragement, is represented, in the many Bibles and commentaries, passed on by Deborah’s father, who was a parish priest, prison chaplain and Church Missionary Society partner, with her mother, in West Africa. Since being ordained together, over 14 years ago, in the Church in Wales, we have added books by Welsh theologians and poets, like Rowan Williams and R.S. Thomas. The pastoral care section has also significantly increased recently, with Deborah’s Chaplaincy role, working in mental health, at St Ann’s Hospital, Poole. This has been whilst Neil has remained serving in St Asaph Diocese, in Buckley, North East Wales – the place we are moving from.


Packing up so many books is a reminder of how fortunate we are to be able to read and study, learn, and benefit from the wisdom of others. Books, including the Bible and the stories told in it, really do have amazing potential to inspire and transform our lives, but often, only through putting our learning into practice. Just as no amount of reading horticultural books makes you a great gardener, unless you also get your hands dirty, caring for plants, so, following Jesus Christ, also involves putting our faith into practical action. Only with God’s grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit, can we hope to do this, as we come to you, to share the role of Team Vicar. To paraphrase St Paul, we pray, that working with you, ‘We can do all things through him who strengthens us’ (Philippians 4.13).


We are really looking forward to learning with you and from you. This will be a new chapter in our ‘Life Story’ and yours. We pray it will be a hopeful and exciting one. 


See you all soon,


                                                                                  Deborah and Neil                



Young Fun

 Children, Families and Young People 

Choir Class

Music Groups

Social Ministry

Table Setting

Flowers and Guides

Flower Arrangement
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