Andrew Howorth

ANDREW HOWORTH

 

 

 

Update….Update …….

“And the Lord added to their number day by day” – On St.Peter’s day, June 25th 2016, we welcomed to St Peter’s the Revd. Andrew Howorth in his new and expanded role following his ordination to the priesthood at Bradford Cathedral.  As is becoming our tradition we presented him with an embroidered stole to mark the occasion.  We also decorated a cake for the occasion, matching the embroidery on the new stole which depicts Pentecostal tongues of fire.

Introduction to Andrew when he first joined us as a curate…..

Hello, I am using this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me, because on the 4th July I am to be ordained Deacon at Ripon Cathedral, and in early August I am taking up a post as your Assistant Curate, working alongside Jill and the Ministry team. My name is Andrew Howorth, and I live in Guiseley, and during the week I work for the NHS. So, perhaps you are wondering, what brings me to be a part time assistant curate at Addingham

My journey has had lots of twists and turns; as a young man of nineteen I knew that God was calling me into the Ministry. At that time because of my upbringing, Ministry meant becoming a parson in the Methodist Church. I trained as a local (lay) preacher in the Bradford West Circuit of the Methodist Church, and after going before all the various selection panels, was sent to Manchester, to the Federation for Training in Ministry, at Luther King House. I was there, studying at Manchester University for three years. On completion of my training I was sent to Nottingham as Minister to Clifton, a huge council housing estate with 36,000 people. At the end of my second year, in line with Methodist tradition, I was ordained in Peterborough and worked in Nottingham for five years.

Following Nottingham I was invited to the Aireborough Circuit, to take over as the Minister in Guiseley Methodist Church, where I worked for six years. During that time I was the sessional chaplain at High Royds Hospital in Menston, caring for people with mental health difficulties. It was whilst I was there that I was prompted to consider taking on the role of Senior Chaplain for the mental health Trust in Leeds. That was back in 1998 and in 2015 I am still working full time for the NHS.

Now as head of patient experience, managing five different teams and ensuring that we offer the best experience we can to people struggling with their mental health or with a learning difficulty. During these years my personal journey has taken me into unexpected places. When I reached my late 40’s I spent a year or so feeling as though I was in a spiritual wilderness, and eventually found myself, like the prodigal son, coming home to the Church of England.

During an interregnum at my home church, St Oswald’s Guiseley, I experienced what can only be described as a “great kick in the pants” from the Holy Spirit, with the message that I should be doing what I was called to do all those years before, and minister to God’s people. After the initial panic had subsided I began the process of discernment (again!) and was accepted as an ordinand into the Church of England.

The big issue I had to get my head around is that I do believe very much that my work in the NHS is a significant part of my vocation and ministry. Jill and I have had a number of conversations already about how I fulfil my training requirements in the Church and continue to work full time. Whilst the two are complementary there are only so many hours in a day, so whilst I am really looking forward to getting to know you all, I do ask you please to be patient with me if that doesn’t happen overnight.

One of my concerns at work is that we strive more and more to become a dementia safe community and I know that there is a genuine desire for St Peters to become a dementia friendly Church, so there are obvious overlaps between my work for the NHS and my work for the Parish.

In my spare time I have been actively involved in amateur theatre, both in Leeds and Bradford, directing, writing and performing in plays, musicals and even pantomimes! One of my enthusiasms is to look at how as a Church we can use all our creative gifts to help each other understand something more about our Creator God, to worship Him, and to catch a glimpse of how God changes our lives.

I am sure there is so much more that I could tell you, but this is just the start of our journey together, and I am very excited about meeting you, and together learning more about each other. Please remember me in your prayers as I prepare for my Ordination, and I shall pray for you too. 

With love and prayers

Andrew Howorth

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