An Adventure to the Frozen North…

Tom Woodhead and Marcus King

Okay, I’ll admit that the title might be slightly misleading. Yes, we are about to embark on an adventure that we have been discussing excitedly for the past twelve months. But fortunately it won’t require us to contend with quite so many polar bears as a trip to the North Pole might entail. But in many ways, what God has got planned for us is equally exciting.

For the benefit of those of you who do not know us, Marcus and I have been members of Christ Church for a number of years now, during which time we have often been seen making fools of ourselves at the annual Children’s Holiday Club as part of the drama team. And even though in recent years, a lot of our time has been spent away from Stone at separate universities (Marcus has been in York reading Archaeology, while I’ve been studying Physics in Nottingham), we have taken every opportunity to return to Christ Church with an aim to help out with the fantastic work that the church is doing here. However, now that we have both graduated from university, we have been given an exciting opportunity to explore a calling that both of us have had a growing interest in over the years: local church ministry

We’ve each been invited to become Apprentices in an evangelical church called the People’s Mission in South Shields (near “sunny” Newcastle-upon-Tyne). This church, led by former Christ Church youth minister Adam Rushton, is running this training scheme for the first time this year as part of their commitment to train and release new workers for Christian ministry. Over the next two years we’ll be receiving a thorough training in theology, led by Rev. Dr. Paul Blackham. But we won’t just be doing lots of reading and writing; we’ll have the opportunity to put into practice what we’ve learned by actively serving in the church family. This will include getting involved with the church’s existing activities, as well as having a role in pioneering new ministries in the community. On our recent visits to the area we saw how much potential there is to expand into new areas, especially with regards to working with young people. As we serve in the church’s mission to take the Gospel to South Shields, we’ll each be able to grow in our relationship with God and develop the gifts He’s given us for the work of His Kingdom.

We are both extremely excited about the time we are going to spend as apprentices in South Shields, and while we are sorry to be finally leaving Christ Church, we are confident that our time at the People’s Mission will be an extremely valuable and fruitful experience. We just can’t help but wonder how long it will be before we’re asked to don silly costumes and Marcus is once again standing in front of forty children with his feet in a bowl of mushy peas…

Tom Woodhead

To hear Tom & Marcus talk to Kieran McKnight about their plane, listen to the Podcast