'Called to Serve'

The stories of the ordinands of St Faith's, Great Crosby

Russell L. Perry

My journey to ordination was long and was accompanied by a nagging feeling that never really went away until I had knelt before the bishop in Carlisle Cathedral at the age of 59!
At the tender age of fourteen, not long after being confirmed in St. Nicholas Church, Blundellsands, I felt called to ordination and after being accepted by the Bishop of Liverpool changed from Sciences to Classics for O levels and went on to A levels and Theology at Oxford. During my studies there I decided against ordination and went into the family business of laundry and dry cleaning. That didn't enthral me at all so I took a job teaching.

I enjoyed every minute in the classroom and spent the next 30 years progressing from classroom to head teacher.

I never really escaped that nagging voice calling to ordination and finally, after retiring to the Lake District, responded to a Harvest sermon to use the P.LU.M. prayer by praying Please Lord Use Me. This led me to the Bishop of Carlisle and a self supporting assistant priesthood at Grasmere.

My time at St. Faith's began when I took up a teaching post at Merchant Taylors' and in eight years acquired a deep  appreciation of the Catholic tradition in worship and a real sense of the wonder and value of sacramental liturgy. I also found a wife whose spirituality was steeped in Thomas a Kempis.

St. Faiths became our spiritual home and has remained so.

My ordained ministry has been spent in Grasmere and in the diocese of Southwell.

I am now retired and enjoying na dog-walking ministry in Lincoln. It is quite remarkable how many brief chats while out  with the dogs can become spiritual counselling  and a commitment to pray for someone with problems.

June 18th, 2015

The list of ordinands