An Introduction

How does one begin when asked to write something about oneself in the parish magazine? Perhaps the most important thing is to keep it short so you don’t start thinking half way through reading it, ‘Gosh, I’ve already had enough. And what are his sermons are going to be like?!’ So as a way of introducing myself, let me just briefly tell you something about my background, spirituality and my ministerial training so far, and I trust that the rest would follow as we get a chance to meet in person.

When I left Poland in September 2008 in order to move to the UK and begin my new life here, enthusiastic as I was, the feeling of entering into a strange and unknown territory was also prevalent. The decision to live in a different country was made following quite a wide range of experiences. At the age of nineteen, I entered the order of Friars Minor Capuchin where I spent a year as a postulant discerning whether I was called to a religious life. Having decided that the life according to the strict Franciscan rule was not something I would flourish in, I then began to study theology and music in the beautiful city of Kraków in the South of Poland. I also worked as an organist in one of the churches there while trying to figure out what it was that God was calling me to do.

In the summer 2007 I went to Taizé for the first time what proved to be a turning point in my life of faith. I was overwhelmed not just by the sheer beauty of Burgundy, but most of all by the simplicity of life and generous hospitality of the community of the brothers who year by year, with open arms, welcome thousands of young people enabling them to experience something of the love and compassion of God. It was during my visits to the ecumenical community of Taizé where I first encountered the rich diversity of the Christian faith; and I have continued to discover it ever since. Taizé and its spirituality has been an important part of my life and believe that it will remain so throughout my ordained ministry.

Now is probably a good time to say something about my life in the UK and how I came to join the Church of England. The story begins in Norwich where I lived for two years working in coffee shops and restaurants while at the same time developing my English skills and getting to know the country and the people. It was then when a friend of mine suggested that I try one of the churches there, St John’s with St Julian’s. The curate of the church, Fr David Stevenson (who is now the vicar of St John’s in Watford!), introduced me to the Church of England with all her beauty and challenges, and I have grown to love and cherish her over the years. In 2010 I moved to Watford and joined St John’s church where I was encouraged to enter the process of discernment which eventually led me to my three years of training at Westcott House, Cambridge, and to the ordained ministry. My time at Westcott gave me a fantastic opportunity to continue in my theological studies, gain more experience of ministry through two long placements (at Addenbrooke’s hospital and in a benefice of three churches in Manchester), and gain a group of close friends, some of whom, no doubt, you will meet in due course.

That is, more or less, what I am now leaving behind and what I am bringing with me to All Saints. As I am writing this I am preparing for my graduation at Cambridge, and I am already eagerly awaiting my ordination on 5th July. So here I am, embarking on what feels like the next exciting chapter of my life, starting as an assistant curate at All Saints. I am hugely excited about an opportunity to work in such a lively and inclusive parish. I also very much look forward to getting to know you all, to minister alongside Father Eddie and the team, and to learn from you and with you how to follow Our Lord more faithfully. Once again I am entering into an unknown and strange territory, but I trust that as God has led me through many ups and downs of life up to this point, His Spirit would continue to strengthen me as I continue my training within your parish community and in the wider Church. After all the one who calls is indeed faithful (1 Thessalonians 5.24).

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