All this beauty is of God

    15 September 2015

    There’s a sense in which, if you spend time struggling with something, you then hold onto it and it’s worthwhile. There are steps in our faith journey which are probably like that.

    Becky Fisher crop

    The rural church is very important to me. My role as a Rural Schools and Churches Worker in North Wiltshire is my vocation, as much as if I were called to ordained ministry. It’s the whole of my life.

    I fought God for a long time saying I wouldn’t do children’s work. There was a long time when I wondered whether I was being called to ordination. I’m a licensed lay minister but I didn’t go further down that path. This is definitely my calling. I feel very settled now.

    My first degree was in agricultural economics. I could see it was always going to be important for the world to be fed and fed in the most economical way possible. I was interested in working in the less privileged world, and my dissertation was on marketing of food crops in northern Nigeria. That was my plan then, to get into that sort of work.

    Then I met Stuart. He’s a water engineer was already well settled into a role. So I never did the developing world ‘thing’, which is sad but perhaps God still has a plan, you never know!

    I was confirmed as an adult. I wasn’t consciously aware of my own faith growing up. But often when you look back you see things you might not have been aware of at the time.

    I was brought up in a tiny village, there was a Sunday school in the afternoon. I’m sure my parents sent me to that because they wanted to be able to sit down quietly and read the papers after lunch. It wasn’t a family thing.

    I lived with my grandparents for a little while and they lived next door to the Methodist church and we were always invited to the harvest festival there. Up the lane was the Baptist church and I went to their youth club. And we’d go to the Anglican church at Christmas and Easter. So it was all around particular events, but that has probably contributed to my ecumenical leaning today.

    I remember on one occasion spending a long time looking at the coat of arms on one of the walls at County Hall, where my dad worked on the Isle of Wight. I knew it was really important. I was just learning to read and was trying to work out what it said. I’m sure that was one of the key moments in my spiritual development, working out what that said: “All this beauty is of God.”

    There’s a sense in which, if you spend time struggling with something, you then hold onto it and it’s worthwhile. There are steps in our faith journey which are probably like that. So I’ve struggled. But once you’ve struggled, you hold onto it – the experience, or the word, or the person that’s been helpful.

    My husband and I had gone to church together in preparation for our marriage and we did continue to go afterwards. But it didn’t become regular until we had children.

    That’s what made me really concentrate on my faith journey, just having this new person. My faith wasn’t manifestly important to me until that amazing, miraculous moment of having a child.

    It’s the responsibility you have for another life. I think that as you grow up you rely on your own resources. But as soon as you have that child in your life, you ask, how can I do this with my own strength? It’s such a great responsibility; I cannot look after this child on my own. I need my partner and I need God with me in this. So that’s why I was confirmed as a mother.

    And my faith has continued to grow and take me in new directions. It’s now brought us to Wiltshire and I thank God for bringing us here.

    Becky Fisher is the Rural Schools and Churches Worker for the Gauzebrook Group in North Wiltshire.

    Read more about her role.