Matt Trendall, from rat race to a different reality

First published 30th June 2010

Matt Trendall felt some sort of calling to ministry aged 21 but had a strong desire to go out into the real world first. A three year commitment to work at a research agency in London became 12 as he found a real passion for ministry in the workplace.

But as opportunities in church leadership opened up, Matt felt prompted to re-consider what the real world really is.

Matt followed his interests early on, and drew a lot from the professional world: Ive always loved adverts and was drawn to the marketing industry, he says.

Eventually research into advertising became my core work. From a ministry perspective, my time there proved immensely valuable in developing time management skills and a ruthlessness about work/life balance.

After many years as a corporate executive trying also to make time to be a good husband, father and lead a number of ministries at church, my life had become unsustainably planned about everything, he reflects.

Two years of gradual discernment led, in 2008, to ordination training at Trinity College, Bristol.

It was good to lay everything down and ask myself the hard questions: am I defined by what I am or do? Do I love God more than his work?

Perhaps the most important aspect was the opportunity to do full-time study in a new city, leaving the old life behind, as Matt reflects, and swapping the relatively sanitised corporate world for the mess of community life.

A self-confessed sports-nut, Matt currently plays for the Trinity Tigers football team and enjoys a family-oriented lifestyle. Ultimately, what I spend most leisure time doing is just being with my kids reading, playing, going out on bikes or to the playground and sometimes a bigger day out. This is very much my top priority outside work.

Matt will be serving as curate at Redland Parish Church, hoping to get a good training in the bread and butter stuff of Anglican ministry.

He adds: I am also excited about my incumbents desire for me to help disciple the adults in the church, especially focusing on relating faith to work and family life. I feel this is what Ive spent the last 15 years trying to work out not that Ive got a lot of answers, but maybe Im asking the right questions!

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