Welcome to the Patchwork Blog! I hope you enjoy reading my random thoughts about life, Jesus and the freedom he offers.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The First Steps

If anyone had told me when I first left ministry training college that I would leave after 7 years, not even sure if I believed in God any more, I would have laughed at them. But that is where I find myself.

The doubts crept up so slowly that I didn't notice them becoming so entrenched. Over the last couple of years I gradually realised my faith in God was eroding away. I kept thinking it was just a phase, that I would 'snap out of it' relatively quickly. I was wrong.

I had occasions during my time in ministry when I dreamed of leaving and doing something else. I wanted to go back to the relative freedom of not working for the church. But somehow I never did it.

There was a moment when I realised that I absolutely had to get out, and do it as soon as I could. I was asked to preach at the main Christmas carol service of my church. Preparing the sermon, when I knew my faith was virtually non-existant, was hard enough but standing up in church and preaching that sermon was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Outwardly I was preaching most most powerful, evangelistic sermon I have ever preached but inwardly I was crying out 'But there is no God'. I felt like I was in a maelstrom of turmoil, being pulled and thrown all over the place. As I stepped down from that sermon I knew I had to get out of church ministry or loose my sanity.

Over the next few months I read books about career change and thought very hard about it. One of the problems with leaving ministry is that my home depended on my job. I was not just leaving a job, but leaving a home. To add to that, I was loosing my faith, which is a big enough stress without it involving having to move house and have a major career change into the bargain.  

I worked out that something I would be good at, that would use many of my skills, was to be a sheltered housing warden. I started researching companies in this line of work and applied for jobs. After about 5-6 months I was offered the job I now have (I think changing my job title from Evangelist to Community Worker on the application form for my present job helped a lot!!). I have accomodation provided and I love what I do. I relish being able to stay in bed on a Sunday morning if I wish, although I do still go to church most Sundays. I have found a church with lovely friendly people who do not push me spiritually. I can relax and just take things in as a customer, so to speak. I even have 4 days off over Christmas! I've not had that for years! Brilliant! Now I am here I have space to work out what I believe about God and how I want that to affect my life.


  1. I'm really glad you have started this blog and will follow it with much interest

  2. Congratulations on making this huge step in your life. I'm proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to leave the security of what you know for something else.

  3. Like I said in my other comment, and on the ex-c forum, I'm glad you found a way out of the ministry so that you can better look for the answers you need.

    It sounds like you made a wonderful career choice--you still get to help people but without having to fake having strong faith in God while you are questioning things!