I consider the village of Mulbarton, Norfolk, to be home having moved there as a child and stayed until my 20’s. Although all my immediate family have now moved away I still have a lot of very good friends there and around the rest of Norfolk.
Upon leaving school I did a few Jobs, My plan was to be a photographer and I spent some of the time working in labs and doing a little bit of self employed photo work. Time got in the way of the hobby although I am now beginning to enjoy it all again and you can see some of my images in the gallery section of this site.
At 19 I believed that God had placed a call on my life to go into full time ministry, however the call wasn’t for then. I spent the next few years praying “God I will go where you want me when you wan me, so long as it’s not Bible college!” in the mid 90’s I ended up at Bible College! Moorlands College in Dorset, First doing a foundation year (I left school at 16 with very few qualifications) and then going onto study for a BA in Applied Theology. During this time I discovered I am dyslexic (which is why I left school with very little) this is also where I met Gill and we married while both students there.
After 4 years at college Gill and I became youth and Children’s workers at Sunnyside Church in Berkhamsted, we were there for 5 years and had our fist two children while there.
We then moved onto Faringdon in Oxfordshire where I became youth worker for All Saints (the parish church) and also for a local charity ‘Vale Christian Youth Work’ doing youth work around the deanery, mostly using a converted double decker bus as our mobile youth centre.
In 2009 we moved on again, this time back to college, St John’s in Nottingham, it was clear God was calling me into a new area of ministry and this was for Ordination training. (So having told God anywhere but Bible college I have so far spent 6 years there in total!)
In the summer of 2011 we moved again to Warminster where I served as Assistant Curate in the parish of Christchurch for 4 years.
I am passionate about the rural church, a friend once described me when talking about rural ministry as a ‘stick of rock rural’ he went on to describe his thoughts like this “some people minister and find themselves doing it in a rural situation, but if someone were to break me in half they would find rural written all the way through.” Apart from not being sure about the broken in half bit I liked that description (if I hadn’t I guess I wouldn’t have used it here!) It was interesting that that wasn’t where God led me for my curacy although is very much where I am now and when I look back I can see how the different contexts have been building blocks for my ministry.
Along with all the stuff mentioned above I am a bit of a clown, illusionist and escapologist (Rev Simo) and a member of the Christian Magicians UK. I enjoy using skills such as juggling, stilt walking, balloon twisting, illusion and escapology for fun, for entertainment and for portraying the gospel message, this can take many forms, obviously fun can just be wondering around on stilts with three balls and a load of balloons, or entertaining at a children’s party, but these things can also be used as tools for evangelism, they can be used to draw a crowd, to illustrate a message or by doing workshops by helping to build up trust before speaking to groups.
I also enjoy photography (I worked in the trade before going to Moorlands), I have enjoyed Badminton in the past but never seam to get around to playing (haven’t played for years (also used to enjoy squash but not sure I could do it any more!)) Similar situation with cycling although i do go out on the bike every now and then. Things I would love to do one day include off roading (my dream car is a series 2/2a Land Rover), rally driving, hang gliding and paragliding (the last two along with the stilt walking mentioned above seam a little odd as I am afraid of heights but hey!)
The other slightly odd thing about me (at least some people seam to think so) is my fascination with Red telephone boxes, unfortunately I don’t have a real one (although I hope to one day) but have probably getting on for 100 models, a couple of books (there aren’t that many out there) and lots postcards, I also own a domain name connected with the beautiful pieces of architecture but at the moment that lies dormant waiting for me to find the time!