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Ian Our Minister & his wife Tabitha

Ian Our Minister (Presbyter) & his wife Tabitha

We’ve been asked to say a little about ourselves by way of introduction, so here goes.

I grew up in the New Forest while Tabitha grew up in Wolverhampton.  These two contrasting places also reflect the range of experience we have had in ministry.  Following training in Birmingham, as a probationer we went to rural Norfolk and Suffolk and then to Bradford.  All very different places with equally different challenges, yet in them God calls people together for worship and service.  It has been a real privilege to discover the wide variety of ways that God calls people and leads them in their discipleship.  If there has been an overall theme in the places where we have been it might be summed up in this question, “How can we be the most effective Christian presence here?”  It has also led to another theme that has resonated with us, ‘whole life discipleship’.  Some of my recent sabbatical was spent looking at the Celtic Church, and one of the key themes that came out of that study was how fully integrated work, faith and spirituality were.  For me, ‘whole life discipleship’ is about living the Covenant Service and in particular the Covenant prayer. So often we can concentrate on the aspects of our faith and discipleship that are hard and difficult.  I look forward to helping us to find ways to celebrate those parts of our lives and our discipleship that are fun and enjoyable too.

You will soon discover that Tabitha has her own distinctive ministry.  One aspect of this ministry is her role as an accredited Local Preacher since 2001, where she manages to use her many other gifts including story telling, bringing familiar bible stories to life. 

For both of us music has played a significant part in our lives, although we do come from very different traditions.  Tabitha grew up with Rock music, learning drums and percussion, whereas I had a more classical start learning various instruments but sticking with the Recorder.  Renaissance and Baroque music was my more natural home, although I played everything up to and including contemporary jazz. 

You can imagine perhaps the fun we have as we move around the manse with Led Zeppelin coming out of one room and JS Bach from another!  When you stand in certain places it can be somewhat interesting.  It does lead us to appreciate the different skills of musicians and others, and to see where creativity can lead to something exciting and reveal the truth in Fred Pratt Green’s hymn: “How often, making music we have found a new dimension in the world of sound, as worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia!” (731 Singing the Faith).

Wherever we have been in ministry, from training in Birmingham with Anglicans, United Reformed and various others, right up to today, there has always been an ecumenical component.  There have been the ‘Churches Together’ groups as you might expect, but none have been the size of ‘Church in Abingdon’.  

So I am glad that ecumenical working will continue when we move to Abingdon. 

We look forward to discovering what God is doing, and where God will lead us.

 

Please read the link below for information about our Deacon Selina Nisbett.

 

Page last updated: September 2015