A faith 'rooted and grounded in creation' & following where God is calling

29th September 2022

For four years Simon Winchcombe together with his Catherine worked a missionary in the Middle East. Both Simon and Catherine were qualified teachers but in 2012 Simon says he “felt God calling us to give up our jobs, our home and move to Jordan, along with our young teenage daughters. These were challenging times, but God is faithful, and I have learnt to ‘let go and let God’.” During his time in the Middle East, Simon helped refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq find resettlement. He has continue to do this, having recently returned from Abu Dhabi, where he was part of a team helping Afghanis with their applications for resettlement.

Simon was not raised in a Christian home but says he found faith when he was eleven and that “a major part of my deepening faith was joining YWAM in Cyprus in my early twenties. Once I married, we moved to Claygate and attended a church that encouraged us both in our faith. We went on mission trips to the Ukraine and helped in local missional activities.” It was following this that Simon felt called to missionary work in the Middle East.

After returning from Jordan, Simon and his family settled in Bath a part of the country where they didn’t know anyone or have family. “We did not know anyone and this time was difficult but again, God is faithful. Since I was seventeen, I had wanted to work in the Church but needed to wait and so here I am now. I have learnt that God wants a willing and contrite heart, after this, amazing things happen.”


Lindsay Smith who is to serve her curacy in the Benefice of Portishead Team Ministry says of herself “God created me to live my life ‘muddy’.” Lindsay’s faith is “rooted and grounded in creation, an earthly connection to God. My faith journey is intertwined with the natural world, especially trees.”

And the natural world played a large part in Lindsay’s journey of faith. It was under a yew tree in 2014 that Lindsay says she suddenly realised that “we are not called to rely on our own strength. No matter how impossible the journey ahead might seem, if we rely on God's strength, the impossible has hope.” It was then that Lindsay began having conversations about how she was feeling and others shared with her that this was how they had felt before ordination, “the more I talked to people the more the whole thing just unfolded in front of me.”

Lindsay like all this year’s ordinands has already started as a Lay Curate in the Benefice of Portishead she says she is, “looking forward to building new relationships looking forward to the community garden. Pioneering to your ministry is a huge part of who I am; the garden, working in partnership with the local medical centre to do more things down there. I’m also excited to do more ecumenical and children’s work; to bring all those things together and to see where God is leading me.”



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