Note: As of June 2021, Caroline is Associate Vicar.

After three tough and wonderful years of training, it’s a joy to be coming to St. Mary with St. Alban as a new curate. I have loved my ordination training at St. Mellitus College and am enormously grateful for my time there, for Joe’s encouragement and for the loving support of my family, especially Rick, my husband, and Alec, our son.

I grew up in Radlett in Hertfordshire. My Dad was a headmaster, and Mum a teacher before her ordination in 1987. It wasn’t until my teen years that the idea of going to church entered our family life. Mum after years away from the church gradually started attending again. At first I was horrified and even cried, but went along with her! I was astonished to enjoy the services and especially the people – one of them, Rick, became my husband.

The church supported me in those early years as I explored what faith means in our challenging and often confusing world. Two quite different experiences were significant, one was an encounter with Taizé in France, where the generosity of the Brothers gave me glimpses of what it means to know and love God. The other was the year I spent in Zimbabwe with the Elim Pentecostal Church. It was a wonderful year in which I learned from people who had lived through the brutality of war and had forgiven those who had killed their missionary colleagues.

I have had a career as a nurse and midwife, and then for the last 20 years have been working in the charity sector, on health programmes in developing countries. As I’ve been preparing for becoming a curate, my hope is that our church will always be a place of welcome for all people, a lively hub in our community where we can explore together what it means to know and trust in the boundless love of God for all people.

Caroline Halmshaw