IT was a freak workplace injury that led Samantha Martell to find God’s call.
Eight years ago she was busy running her own butchers and bringing up her twin sons.
But after injuring herself while moving her sausage filling machine, she was taken to hospital and diagnosed weith pressure fractures on her neck and spine.
Within a week of being in hospital she found her landlord had changed the butchers’ locks and had sold her equipment.
After stopping work she discovered her true calling - as a clergy person in the Church of England.
Samantha, 46, said: ‘Obviously after my injury I had to be at home a lot more, and I got involved with the children’s school in Compton, in Sussex, where we lived.
It’s humbling to feel part of something bigger than you can ever imagine, and sometimes quite scary.Samantha Martell
‘I became a churchwarden at the church and chair of governors at the school.
‘Then one day I was having a meeting with the vicar, and he said “where do you see yourself in five years”.
‘Without thinking about it I said “I want to be a vicar.”
‘The words just came out of my mouth - it it wasn’t quite what I was thinking at the time. But I realised this was what I wanted to do and what God was calling me to do.’
After applying through the Diocese of Chichester, Samantha spent six weeks on placement in St Peter’s Church in Petersfield.
In June 2014 she was approved for ordination and started a three year course, and on July 1 she will be ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth.
She will become a curate of four parishes in Droxford, Meonstoke, Exton and Corhampton, continuing her training there for the next three years.
Samantha, mother to 15-year-old twins Killian and Carlisle, said: ‘It’s humbling to feel part of something bigger than you can ever imagine, and sometimes quite scary.
‘But it’s where God wants me to be. I’m looking forward to being a curate in these four villages.
‘My background is rural, so it does feel like the right place to be.’