First published 21st February 2015

But God was not finished with me; he sent a man called Paul to be His physical, supportive presence with me.

Janet Leckie

So where do I begin to tell the story of my faith? I dont remember a time when I didnt go to church, even at the age of 12 I felt called by God. To do what?


I didnt know and it took me until 25 before I got my head around the right way, stopped ignoring God and started training to be what was then called a deaconess.

Circumstances intervened and I became a Reader instead - a calling I have followed confident in the knowledge that God was holding me in His hands.

In the 1990s I started experiencing problems with arthritis in the right knee and lower back that was the result of an accident 20 years earlier and I had to start using a stick. The hospital said that, due to problems with my bone structure, they would not be able to replace the knee and could do nothing about the spine, and within a few years I would finally have to use a wheelchair.

I carried on with my calling until about 1997, when I could still use a stick to walk around the house or in my office, but had to use a wheelchair when outside or walking any distance. By 1999 I had to use the wheelchair permanently as my back and knee became too painful to put weight on. The arthritis has got steadily worse and over the years the broken back and also the broken neck that I suffered 40 years earlier has led to a form of severe arthritis called cervical spondylitis with myelopathy.

In 2007 increasing problems with health, redundancy, unexpected loss of my mother, and having to move to sheltered accommodation, as I could not use a wheelchair in the house, I went through a period of depression when I thought God had abandoned me, and took a three-month sabbatical that extended to 12 months.

But God was not finished with me; he sent a man called Paul to be His physical, supportive presence with me. It took me nine months to realise that this was God still working out his purpose in my life. A further nine months later, realising we loved each other, we decided to get married. We bought a house that we could adapt for my wheelchair and were married in 2010 in Pauls church of St Philips, Upper Stratton.

With the support of my husband, I have continued to serve my ministry. For one of our wedding hymns we chose Great is thy faithfulness as we both feel that, no matter what, God is great and always faithful.


Jackie Leckie has lived, worshipped and been active in the parish of Parks and Walcot since 1956, and was licensed as Lay Minister in Malmesbury Abbey in 1987.



Contemplate now

Despite it all, what are you really grateful for?

In the face of something thats getting worse and worse, how do we think of God's faithfulness?

To what end does the faithfulness of others in serving God inspire you?


Meditate today

We might get to a point in life where we feel like God's abandoned us but this is before we realise that God does step in.

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