Hello! I’m Helen and I will be joining the ministry team in Shaftesbury when I’m licensed as your new Team Rector on September 9th 2015. Until recently I was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Social and Public Affairs Advisor and I’m now busy trying to get ready to move and to finish writing up the part-time PhD I’ve been working on. My PhD is about what kinds of things people are and why Christian views about what people are can help us have good conversations about how our economy should work. That gives you a clue that I’m really keen for churches to get involved in the whole life of the communities they serve – not just the ‘church-y’ bits. When I was working at Lambeth Palace my responsibilities ranged from schools to medical ethics to the issues around poverty and I hope to bring that experience and some of the good ideas I’ve seen to Shaftesbury with me.
Before I was ordained I studied Natural Sciences and worked in business consulting. I trained for ministry in Cambridge and stayed there as a curate before becoming Priest-in-Charge of four rural parishes in the Diocese of St Albans. I’m really looking forward to being properly part of the ongoing life of a group of churches again after six years out of parish ministry. I really enjoy the sharing in the worship of the church through the Christian year and I’m particularly looking forward to getting to know each of the churches in the Team and seeing how we can grow together in Christ. I’m also very excited about the chances there will be to work with the great schools in the Shaftesbury Team and to see how the churches can support the children, families, teachers and staff. In my spare time I’m a keen gardener and I enjoy reading, singing and spending time with my family. I look forward to getting to know you later this year.