Who am I?

First things first

I was born in Spalding during the latter half of the 2nd World War, but spent a couple of my early years in Aldershot while my father was serving in the army, before returning to Spalding.

After attending Primary School I 'scraped' my way through the 11 plus exam and went to Spalding Grammar School where my greatest achievement was to meet my wife to be (the Girls High School was next door). I did manage a couple of GCE 'O' levels in English and Maths and started work in a local firm (Levertons). However, my meagre results have not held me back over the years. I still maintain my Curriculum Vitæ, but I've got past the desire to hawk myself around for new employment anymore! My only move now would be to full time ministry (see below).

We married in 1963 and managed to live in three different houses in less than two years. We are still living in the third one after moving in to it in 1964. We managed to survive the 'seven-year-itch' by maintaining our own interests throughout the years. Our daughter (Frances) Clare was born in 1974 and is currently living in the big city and working for an IT Training Company, she also has a busy sideline in hand-produced Greetings Cards (take a look at Tonka Productions). If you want to know what we all look like, take a glance at our photo album.

Scaling New Heights

Our main interests in the early years were walking and climbing - the kind that uses ropes as well! Christine and I spent many a happy weekend trolling up the Devil's Kitchen in Ogwen Valley, and many a wet one as well!

I was a founder member of the 'Fenland Mountaineering Club' - how's that for an oxymoron! Some 15 or 20 of us would go out regularly at weekends testing the various brews available after a hard day's climbing in the Peaks, or Wales, occasionally Scotland, or even once in the French Alps. Coupled with this rather energectic sport were an enjoyment of Photography and Reading which are still with me. We don't go climbing any more (bones creak far too much), but a love of the hills keep us both interested in walking and spending weekends away.

My Christian Committment

Although I joined the church choir of Spalding St Mary & St Nicolas when I was 11, like many a teenager I teetered away and when I got involved with the Climbing Club I left altogether apart from my involvement with Church Lads' Brigade where I helped and served for 35 years.

At the age of 35 our church held a Franciscan Mission and we were asked to host one of the Friars (Bro John Derek SSF) helping to run the event. Needless to say, he worked hard on both of us and at the end of the two weeks we found ourselves once more committed to church life - a neccesary part of our journey looking back over the years.

In 1993 I realised that I was being directed to make a deeper committment to my church life by offering myself for a formal ministry in the Church of England. So started the trials and tribulations of selection by the Church - interviews, interviews, and more interviews, selection conferences, a three year non-residential training course with the East Midlands Ministry Training Course (EMMTC), all leading to my ordination as a Deacon in the Church of England in October 1998 and my ordination as a Priest in October 1999. You can read more about that on the Ministry page.

Tonka Productions | Frances Clare | Spalding St Mary & St Nicolas