CTOL: Introduce and tell us a bit about yourself…
JULIE: My name is Julie. After a traumatic couple of years, I have found a place of home in the small village of Pickwell, Leicester.
I was ordained in 1993 and in 1994 Priested alongside many women who had waited years for the Church to accept their ministry. Most of my licensed ministry has been in Peterborough Diocese, where I worked with rural parishes, vocations, foodbank and Bishop’s Chaplaincy. I have had various roles within Spiritual Direction and helped set up of a spirituality stream.
My faith and discipleship journey has taken place in church communities in and around Leicester, so it is wonderful to be back here again. Additionally, my children and grandchildren greatly bless my life.
CTOL: How did you get involved with the Community of the Tree of Life?
JULIE: Earlier this year after a short sabbatical period, I began a conversation with Bishop Martyn. As I spoke about my retirement from stipendiary ministry on health grounds, my few years in an associate parish role, and how I had begun to discern the next stage involving prayer, and bringing together gifts formed over the years, he suggested I have a conversation with Rachel. Over the last months, we have come to know that a role within the Community may well be possible.
CTOL: What excites you about the Community?
JULIE: I have felt welcome as I have become a part of the Community and am excited to be in a place with such a strong charism of prayer and formation. I am gradually experiencing the three-fold office and getting to know the dispersed companions.
It is such a privilege to journey with a group of wonderful young people! They want to discern how God is calling them in the here and now, and into the future. They have a desire to serve and grow more into the people God is calling them to be. What a joy to spend time with them and the team!
CTOL: What are you going to be doing within the life of the Community?
JULIE: My hope is to serve the Community in the role of Chaplain. To learn from those I come alongside, to loiter with intent, listening and developing a pastoral role that will embrace whatever comes along. Being physically part of the house Community, at least two days a week, but always remaining fully mindful of this praying Community.
CTOL: How can we pray for you?
JULIE: If we could all pray for the Community in this time of transition, for Matt in his new role, for my gradual growth into the team and for my other role as Pioneer Accompanier within the Diocese of Leicester.