In my day job, I am a manager for a national chain of garages. I've been married to Karen for 28 years, we have 2 grown-up children and a grandson aged 1.
We’ve attended All Hallows for about 14 years now, we’ve both been church wardens. I’ve also been on the local leadership team for 7 years. When that disbanded last year I began to wonder what next.
Last December I led a morning service with our vicar. Right after the service almost at the same time, we mentioned Directions.
Attending the Directions course seemed a good next step to discern what next. The course was a highlight in my year where I made some lovely friends, all walking with me on the same journey. The teaching and learning was outstanding. We definitely prayed read and learned and I’m very confident we will all tell serve and give.
I felt the course highlighted to me my next steps, doing the follow-up courses of leading services and preaching. I am now on the church leader’s rota and have led and preached at services, gaining valuable experience in doing so. I am bowled over by the encouragement I’ve had from both the leaders and also the congregation, it’s been such a joy. I would strongly recommend Directions to anyone who’s perhaps wondering what the next step is.
My name is Heather Goldsmith I am 25 years old. I have an 18-month-old son and a Husband called Danny. When I took part in the course I was an electronics engineer for an aerospace company and I was 21 years old.
I had been asked by my vicar to consider whether I felt I might have a calling to ordained ministry. At the time I was not sure I had a calling to any ministry let alone that of the priesthood. He suggested that I should attend the Directions course to help me think through what I was called to and what the next steps on my journey may look like. I didn't know what to expect when I first attended the Directions course. what I found was a group of people all exploring the call God had placed on their lives, who gave me a safe and welcoming place to explore that call myself.
The course helped me to discern what God had planned for me. Directions started me on my journey to Ordination and I would recommend it to anyone who is not sure what the next step for them in their faith journey is.
"When I took part in the Directions course I was an electronics engineer for an aerospace company. I didn't know what to expect when I first attended…but what I found was a group of people all exploring the call God had placed on their lives, who gave me a safe and welcoming place to explore that call."
I work as a mental health support worker.
I decided to take part in directions as I was looking at ordination training for the future.
I have learnt from the directions about different ways of serving God and that anyone can come and serve in the Church with their gift.
I would recommend directions course as the teaching material and methods are diverse enough to cover any potential gifting a person might have. There are also opportunities to ask questions and get answered as it is an active learning process. This is also helpful.
"I have learnt from Directions about different ways of serving God and that anyone can come and serve in the Church with their gift. I work as a mental health support worker and I’m looking at ordination training for the future."
I’m Dave, married to Catherine and we have three teenage boys. We moved to Skelmersdale in 2004 to plant Oaks as part of a team from St. Johns, Burscough. I work in Warrington as an IT Operations Manager for an internal IT service company.
Having spent 13 years as a member of the church plant I found that work had taken me away from Skelmersdale and was finding it harder to be active in the weekly work of the church. I felt that I was just going through the motions and needed a clearer idea of where God wanted me to be. I came across the directions course on the Diocese website and signed up.
The course allowed me to look back on my journey so far and help me focus on the here and now. Through the weekly talks and small group discussions, I was able to discern where God was calling me next. My front line is my workplace. Since going on the course, I put in for a promotion and now manage two teams totaling 19 staff. This has given me more opportunities to share my faith. Since finishing the course in 2017 I have volunteered as a small group leader to help others discern where God might be calling them.
Directions has been a real game-changer for me. It has helped me refocus on what is important and given me the confidence to go out and get on with God’s work.
"Directions has been a real game changer for me. It has helped me refocus on what is important and given me the confidence to go out and get on with God’s work."
I’m Marie, 39, married mum of four children. I come from a large family with six brothers and one sister. I live in Skelmersdale and I have lived in West Lancs all my life. I volunteer at various things in my community. My main role is an additional needs mum.
A friend told me about Directions and encouraged me to go. I felt like I was unsure of what God was calling me to do. I’d had some health problems that had knocked what confidence I had. I felt like I was taking a massive leap and very unsure if I would be able to cope. Others from my church were going too, so that was a massive support in settling into Directions.
Since Directions, I’ve strengthened bonds within church. I’ve made some lovely friends and I had the confidence to start prayer shawl ministry. I've got a small team that make baptism blankets for all our baptisms (any age). We make lap blankets for those who are poorly and unable to pray. The blankets are a reminder of being wrapped in God’s love. The blankets are prayed over throughout. They are stitched in prayer and given in love. A physical object that is a symbol of God’s love for us.
I’m also on the team to help with the day to day running of church. I’ve completed pastoral visiting training and I absolutely love it. I’m also leading services, planning services and leading prayer.
Directions has not only given me the confidence to do these things, it’s helped me understand not only what God’s called me to do but also that He has equipped me to do these things. My church family is bigger. I’ve made some great friends. My own personal journey with God has been one of love, tears, belief, understanding and learning. I’m evolving on this journey with God and feel immensely blessed. Thanks for having me Directions!
"Since Directions, I’ve strengthened bonds within church. I’ve made some lovely friends and I had the confidence to start prayer shawl ministry. I’ve completed pastoral visiting training and I absolutely love it. I’m also leading services, planning services and leading prayers."
Directions was a turning point for me in my walk with God. Although I was serving Him at some level before I attended this course, I was encouraged to question God’s purpose for my life and to actively seek His will.
I came away with a determination to be open to God’s plan for my day to day living, ready to embrace new challenges even though I didn’t yet know what they would be. Realising that God doesn’t set us up to fail gave me the courage to start saying ‘yes’.
Since attending Directions, I have taken on new roles within my church setting, occasionally leading our Sunday service and preaching. I’ve got involved in our Asylum and Refugee outreach work, using my skills as a language teacher has been a privilege to support people at their most vulnerable stable to become part of a community again.
But perhaps more importantly, I have become aware of God’s purpose for me outside of church, as He reveals opportunities that I would previously have missed.
"Since attending Directions... I’ve got involved in our Asylum and Refugee outreach work using my skills as a language teacher. It has been a privilege to support people at their most vulnerable to become part of a community again."