I was delighted to announce to both our Wallington and Roundshaw congregations this morning that we will be having Donna Lazenby joining us this summer as curate (for non-Anglicans this is a trainee vicar post that someone has to do for 3-4 years). This is a big step forward for Springfield and not only the first time that we have received a curate but a big vote of confidence in Springfield by the Diocese.
Because we are not a parish church there are some things that Donna will need experience in and Angela Gbebikan of St Michael’s and St Paul’s has very generously agreed to help in training in those areas. These are essentially Parish baptisms, funerals and weddings. This also ensures that our close links with St Michael’s and St Paul’s are strengthened further. As this is a curate post she will not, at least at first, take over an area of the church’s ministry. Rather she need to have a wide range of experiences within the church – something that I think that we can offer at Springfield.
Donna has very recently married the new vicar of All Saints Kenley and St Barnabus, Purley Chris Thomson and will therefore be living in Kenley. Donna is currently an ordinand at Westcott House in Cambridge. Prior to that she was a Lay Pastoral Assistant in Eltham (and no I don’t know what that means either!).
Donna will bring much to Springfield. She is a pastorally sensitive person with a deep faith. Her background within other streams of Anglicanism will help her see what things that we do are different and I hope help us see what is helpful and what is tribal. She is very excited to be coming to Springfield and she has very much enjoyed the services that she has been to and the discussions that she has had with staff and wardens. She has a doctorate in Theology, Philosophy and Literature from Cambridge University (but she does speak human too) and is very interested in the whole area of apologetics and Christian mysticism. She was recently named one of the young theologians of the year by the Templeton Foundation.
Why has she chosen to come to Springfield? She was impacted both by her husband and his experience as a curate and also by her placement with Gary Jenkins at Holy Trinity, Redhill. She wanted to go to a church where culture and the exploration of making faith relevant to our modern culture was available.
She said this morning:
I am absolutely delighted to be coming to join the community of Springfield. It’s been wonderful to meet so many Springfield folk and I very much look forward to being with you full-time from July.
I am sure that you will join me in welcoming her when she joins us in July.