As I write, it’s hard to imagine going for a day out somewhere let alone packing up all our belongs and moving lock, stock and clerical collar to a new community, but (excitingly) that is what is on the horizon for us. Eventually.
A couple of weeks before we all went into Lockdown I was thrilled to have been offered the post of Rector of the Knightley benefice, everything was on track for a move in the summer and then all the well laid plans went on hold. We would still love to come and join you over the summer, but we are aware that we will have to move wisely and slowly and so it may take a little longer than any of us has initially hoped or expected.
In the meantime, please allow me to introduce us. My name is Malcolm Ingham, I was born in the North West and grew up in Ormskirk, midway between Preston and Liverpool in a market gardening area. After training as a graphic designer I worked briefly in advertising in London before joining the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS) and then the South American Mission Society (SAMS) working with young people and youth leaders in this country.
It was during this time that I moved to Bishop’s Itchington to be in a central location and met Liz who had started working for CPAS after I left. CPAS were based in Warwick and although Badby, Newnham, Charwelton, Fawsley and Preston Capes are all new to us, we did come very close to you in the past – our first proper date was a quiet drink at the Red Lion in Hellidon. The rest is, as they say, history.
I trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, before being ordained in Gloucester cathedral and serving my curacy in a Cotswold benefice of five churches centred around Moreton-in-Marsh. During this time our family doubled in size with the arrival of Lottie and then Ed. A stint in Cheltenham as an Associate Minister also saw our family embrace another member, one with a waggy tail and wet nose and although our first dog is no longer with us we were joined two years ago by Hector, a Pointer-Labrador cross rescued from a shelter on Cyprus.
We have spent the last sixteen years on the outskirts of Peterborough where I have been the Rector of two churches. It has been a real privilege to serve in these communities and we have enjoyed sharing our lives with the people here. Liz has worked for a number of employers over the years including the NHS, a housing association and, most recently, as part of the office staff of a local Primary School.
We love spending time in the Lake District or at the theatre in Stratford as well as discovering warmer climes and it will be lovely to be nearer family as well as friends from our past and friends we are yet to make.
We may or may not be joined by our children, Lottie is hoping to return to university so that she can begin her Masters and Ed is hoping to start his first year at university this autumn, however, like all of us, their futures seem very unpredictable at the moment. Needless to say, the days of standing by the side of a windswept football pitch or being the taxi service to Musical Theatre are behind us, so we are looking forward to some new challenges, becoming part of new communities and making new friends.
When will this happen? God knows – and there’s comfort and reassurance in that. We might feel as though our plans are being frustrated, but God’s plans never are, it will all happen in his good timing, it is as Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And so we can have faith that God will bring us together when the time is right.
Until then, stay safe and God bless,
Malcolm, Liz, Lottie & Ed
(From June LINK)