First of all, welcome to Belmont. We look forward to getting to know you.
Thank you. I have been at Belmont for nearly three months now and have really enjoyed getting to know people.
I am already impressed with the organization of the church and the way in which people work together.
Perhaps you would like to begin by telling us a bit about yourself?
I have been in attendance at various Presbyterian churches across my lifetime. I was baptised at Fisherwick and spent my early years there before the family moved to north Belfast. There we attended Rosemary Presbyterian where I remained till going to university.
I worked as a social worker for many years, mostly in teaching and training, before leaving to study for the ministry at Union Theological College in 2011. I worked at Raloo and Magheramorne as an assistant minister for some years before becoming a pastoral visitor there on a part-time basis
As well as your time in ministry you mention your career in the social services. Would you like to tell us a bit about your areas of interest and responsibility in that career?
My career in social work spanned 28 years. I worked as both a social worker for the elderly and as a senior social worker for the elderly, leading a team of workers in east Belfast. I was also Deputy Manager of Mount Oriel Day Centre before joining the training team in South and East Belfast Trust (which ultimately became the Belfast Trust).
You will be our new pastoral visitation assistant. How are you finding the post?
As I mentioned earlier I started work in late February, following on from the work of Paul Erskine and Hastings McIntyre. I am currently working six hours per week. It has been most interesting to meet people and to begin to form friendships with them which I hope will grow as time goes on.
Are there any areas of pastoral care which are a special interest to you?
I am particularly keen to talk to older people – I enjoy hearing about what they have done in life and, in many cases, continue to do! I would also like to contribute, in any way I can, to bringing the generations together in church life where this is possible as I feel there is much we can learn from each other.
Very many thanks, Chris. We very much hope you will continue to settle in and will enjoy your time with us in Belmont.