CHURCH COLUMN: Cowplain’s new curate has no doubts about who she is

The Rev Julie Minter after her ordination service
The Rev Julie Minter after her ordination service
Pupils, parents and teachers celebrate the new England manager Gareth Southgate attended Padnell Infant School. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Cowplain school celebrates finding out England manager Gareth Southgate attended

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Hi. I’m Julie Minter, the new curate at St Wilfrid’s Church, Cowplain. Being a curate basically means I wear a dog collar and support the vicar, Ian Snares, in his role.

Two weeks in and I’m loving it! It’s been great meeting people of all ages and getting to know what is already happening here. If you see me out and about do stop me and say hi.

I was born and grew up in Portsmouth. Before training for ordination I was a local newspaper journalist, a police press officer, the manager of a befriending scheme for older people, a communications officer and a student minister.

I find the works of CS Lewis inspirational, especially his Narnia stories, which I first encountered as a child but in more recent years, have rediscovered as an adult.

‘You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.’ Those words are from the Disney adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of the Narnia adventures. They were not included in the original book but I believe that Lewis would have approved of the film-makers use of artistic licence.

These words have been so helpful to me personally and ‘don’t run from who you are’ is my prayer for all.

As a child, and even into adulthood, I tried to be what I thought others wanted me to be and so I never felt happy within myself. But when I came to know and love the ‘me’ that only I can be, I felt freedom for the first time in my life.

God continues to shape me and mould me, which brings challenges as well as joy, but I know that I am safe in his loving hands.

The Bible tells us that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139) and that ‘even the hairs on our head are counted’. God delights in each one of us and longs for each of us to live in the freedom of his love.

These words attributed to St Catherine of Siena inspire me: ‘Be who you are meant to be, and you will set the world on fire.’

•ST WILFRID’S CHURCH, Padnell Road, Cowplain PO8 8DZ

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