Leaving your "dream job" for the priesthood

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The Revd Simon Stride has always been passionate about three things: Jesus, church, and music. Approaching his 30s, he left his “dream job” working in a recording studio to follow a call to the priesthood. While not an easy decision, he says, “it was the right thing to do”. Simon was ordained last year at Chester Cathedral.

 


 

I have always been passionate about three things: God, church, and music. These passions have given me all sorts of different experiences over the years, such as training in Bristol in my early 20s to lead different types of worship, including DJ worship.

Later I ran a recording studio and had the privilege of working with bands from the Jam to the Boomtown Rats, amongst others. There were late nights, long hours, and it was great fun, but I knew the Lord was calling me to lead and serve God’s people.

After meeting and marrying my wife Vicki, we both, through prayer, discerned that it was time to move from behind the mixing desk towards the lectern. Through various words and scripture I felt the Lord say to leave behind this job he had blessed me with to serve him and others.

It was a gradual transition, but the first step was deciding to study. I left my dream job and a ten-year career in the recording industry, and Vicki and I uprooted and moved to South Manchester where I completed my first degree in theology at Nazarene Theological College. At times it felt like a difficult decision to make, but it was the right thing to do.

I felt a strong call to church ministry and it was whilst studying for my degree in theology that I slowly began taking on greater responsibility at my local church of St Mary’s, Sale. I started preaching and leading a creative team of people and together we organised all sorts of things in the community.

The pull towards leadership continued to grow and what started off as a little niggle grew into something that I couldn’t ignore. I felt ready to be unleashed and it was then that I made contact with a diocesan vocations adviser to explore ordination.

 


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Later I studied the MA programme at St Mellitus College which gave me everything I needed in terms of preparation and starting a curacy, but more importantly, I think, it helped me to define what priesthood meant for me in both leading and serving.

In the last few months, I have been serving my curacy at Holy Trinity, Stalybridge, and working on a lot of strategic stuff that we were ready to launch pre-lockdown. We’re continuing to build up connections in the community and it is encouraging that so many people are turning to their local church in these difficult times.

My passion for music hasn’t left me and never will; God will always use that gifting throughout my ministry to bless others. As I look back now, I can see that the Lord was constantly moulding and shaping me through different expressions of church, music and worship I have experienced over the years. I can see now that the Lord had planned for my ordination a long time ago, I just took a while to recognise it.


Holy Trinity, Stalybridge, where Simon is Curate. © Alan Carter

 


 

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Page last updated: 14th January 2021 3:09 PM