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