It has been the culmination of a long and interesting journey. However, more than anything I would say that ordination for me is a call to service of my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church more than anything else.
You come from a catholic background; how did you find the LCiGB?
I did a Theology and Religious Studies degree at Leeds Trinity University. During that time I ended up reading the Augsburg Confession and about the life of Martin Luther. Despite being involved in Church for all of my life I had never heard much about Lutheranism or what Lutherans believed. However, once I started to read about Luther and after studying the Augsburg Confession I realised that the faith that I saw there was what I had always believed and seen in scripture.
One afternoon I was chatting with a friend of mine about my reading and he said to me that he thought that he had seen a Lutheran Church in Leeds and that he fancied going along and seeing what it was like. The following Sunday we went to St Luke's where I met a welcoming, opening, and friendly Church where I felt very at home and I suppose I have never looked back!
What are your current tasks and goals as an ordained minister in the LCiGB?
At the moment I am a Pastor at St Luke's in Leeds doing regular services and pastoral care for members. In addition to this I am Associate Lutheran Chaplain at Leeds Trinity University.
In terms of goals I think that my main goal is that St Luke's continues to be a place where people feel welcomed and accepted as part of the family and that hopefully we can continue to grow and bring more people into our family. I also particularly have an interest in student and young adult work and I hope to continue to work with students in Leeds.
I am currently, slowly, completing a Research Masters about a Bonhoeffer based approach to ethics of AI. I hope to continue my academic study and interests and to use this to contribute to my ministry and work in the LCiGB as a theologian.
How do you see cooperation in your area with other churches, (both within Lutheran community and ecumenically)?
In Leeds we are very fortunate to have great connections with ministers and churches in the area. Once a quarter (ish) we have a 'Northern Lutheran Pastors Meeting' where we meet with a number of Polish and German Lutheran Pastors. This has been very fruitful as a place for us to pray together, get to know one another better over some great food, and even has led to some joint services where we work together to increase cooperation between Lutherans from different backgrounds and ethnicities.
Likewise, we have a connection with a local Anglican parish. The Pastors in Leeds and I have made it a priority to spend time socially with local ministers and this has led to us having services together such as our Palm Sunday Service this year which was a joint Anglican-Lutheran service at the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey. We have even had a pulpit swap for the week of prayer for Christian Unity and hope to do this again soon. For me, the strong connections that we have built with local clergy was particularly prevalent and moving at my ordination where there were a number of Anglican clergy participating and attending.
At the Universities my work has also involved working with Christians from a range of backgrounds and denominations.