Written by Roger Quick

Network Leeds changed my life.  In 2013, leaving parish ministry in the Scottish Highlands, I was on my way to Canada, and called in to Leeds to visit family and sort out my visa.  The very day I arrived I got an email about a job being advertised through Network Leeds.  A younger friend had seen it, passed it on to her father who had emailed it to my brother, who sent it to me.

By the time I heard that St George’s Crypt was looking for a chaplain, the closing date for applications had passed a few days earlier.  I was initially quite relieved!  Ministry to the homeless and vulnerable is demanding emotionally and spiritually, and I didn’t feel ready for those challenges.  But it wouldn’t let go; the rest of the day it kept nagging at me.  So the next morning, feeling rather foolish, I just rocked up at the front door of the Crypt and asked if by any chance they were still looking for a chaplain.  The centre manager came out to talk to me, and after a brief call to the CEO put the phone down and smiled: “We’ve extended the closing date.  Come on, I’ll show you round.”

During our brief tour, I prayed and had a growing sense of rightness.  We ended up in the Crypt’s beautiful chapel.  There we talked and prayed deeply.  I filled in an application form.  For a month I heard nothing and thought “Oh well.  They want a real Christian, not a flaky old heretic like me.”  Then I got called to interview, which began with Spirit-filled prayer.  Later that day I was offered the job.

The Crypt is demanding, painful, scary, exhilarating, uplifting, and blessed.  Every day.  And I have Network Leeds to thank; for sharing Christian mission; for enabling contact between diverse groups; for being open to the Spirit to work through and put out the call, “Whom shall I send?”

So I never made it to Canada.  God had a better idea, and I am thankful.

Written by Roger Quick: November 2020