In case you haven't heard through other channels, I'm starting a new part time role in September as Tutor in Theology and Youth Ministry at St Mellitus College in London. I've been part of the teaching team for the Youth Ministry degree for 3 years and I've loved it! I've spent time in the college too as a 'ordinand's spouse' while Andy was training and so I have a love and a loyalty to St Mellitus and what they are about and it is wonderful to be part of the staff team come September!
The decision to move from my Youth Adviser role happened in April - I knew it was the right time to go, giving a long notice period and was content to have a summer off and wait and see what happened with self employed opportunities come September, all within a more slimmed down work life.
And then, in late May, this vacancy popped up! An email from the college, booking me for a few sessions next spring included a link to the vacancy and 2 other people alerted me to it in the same week. I spent much of May half term wrestling with whether this role was for me, if it was indeed the role I had left my Adviser position for or was it was a red herring, a distraction from the new direction God was leading us on? I honestly didn't know, but agreed with Andy, during a long coffee date one morning that to not apply wouldn't allow either me or St Mellitus to discern the way forward under God. So, on the last day for applications, I rather speedily put together my supporting letter and updated my CV and pressed send.
After a thorough process - 3 interviews and quite a lot of questions (from St Mellitus and me!), soul searching and advice from wise and wonderful people, I accepted the position of part time Tutor at the end of July. It has a great sense of peace and a comfort of God's timing. A sense that I did hear the call of God right - to move on, be obedient and be available for the new path which is forming in front of us. A lot of the thinking and wondering about 'can we afford this?', 'what do we need for family life to work?' 'what is the long term picture for my ministry?' 'what is God saying to us?' had been thought through over Easter, prior to my formal resignation so there was a transparency at being interviewed and honestly being OK about whatever outcome, especially if this wasn't to be. But it is to be! And I'm really delighted, excited, daunted. I know I bring a lot of experience, resource, wisdom, ideas as a youth minstry practitioner from the last 15 years but being in an academic environment will be a very new experience. I'm looking forward to being stretched, challenged and learning a lot from those around me as well as the students I'll be responsible for.
I'll be in London for 2 days a week at the College and another day of flexible working, leaving me 2 days a week, weekends and evenings at home (which will be rather wonderful!) The role involves developing the Youth Ministry course and teaching on it, pastorally supporting the students (about 20 in each year of the three year degree) along with other Tutors and providing a link between college and placement. It's my first job EVER where I haven't had to have DBS clearance before starting!
I'll be continuing to lead youth work in the parish with 14-18's as well as being part of a local group for 11-14's. I'm also giving a few hours a week voluntarily to Loss UK supporting young people and families facing loss in any way, helping them to develop their business plan and fundraising strategy.
So, I've enjoyed my month off; a great holiday in France with the family, time with friends and our local church; various jobs at home and fun days out locally. But I'm readying myself for this new path!