Welcome to Revd Eleanor Reddington
On Tuesday 30th August the Launceston Area Methodist Circuit will welcome their new minister Revd Eleanor Reddington. Eleanor introduces herself.
When I candidated for the ministry, my Chairman asked me “Eleanor, you’ve grown up in a Manse, why on earth do you want to be a minister?” The answer was simple “When God calls, you don’t have a choice!”
Dad was a Methodist Lay Pastor, under the direction of Home Missions, who came into the ministry in 1962. He was based in St Germans at the start of the Second World War, and then in 1966 we moved to Fraddon in the St. Columb and Padstow Circuit. We then moved to St. Dennis and then St. Tudy, and he retired back to Fraddon. I took my first service in Fraddon Chapel, and have always been grateful that, while I was doing my degree in Theology at Exeter University, I was preaching to people who knew me well enough to keep my feet on the ground!
After University, I worked as a Housemother with Dr. Barnardo’s, and then as a Youth and Community Worker with the YWCA in Wolverhampton, before accepting that God was calling me into the ministry, and it wasn’t just me wanting to follow in Dad’s footsteps.
I trained at Queens College, Birmingham, and have served in South Wales, North Wales, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Shropshire. Dad had a strong calling to rural work, and I have, too, which is why I’ve served in mainly rural Circuits, and for the last 10 years I have been Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District’s Agricultural and Rural Chaplain. At times it’s been a steep learning curve, working with Trading Standards on animal welfare issues which have arisen because of human welfare issues, and many times I’ve had to close my ears, but there’s been a lot of laughter (and teasing of “the Vicar”) as well.
In 1977, and again in 1981, I was involved in a car accident, leaving me with permanent neck and back damage. Inevitably, arthritis has now set in, but it’s both osteo and rheumatoid (well, if you’re going to do something, you’ve got to do it properly, haven’t you?). I always hoped my surgical collar would set a new trend in clerical collars, but it hasn’t, and beware, my crutches have a habit of standing on peoples toes, or catching them round the ankle (totally accidentally, of course!).
Malcolm and I met in 1977. He’s from the Medway Towns, in Kent, and had only moved once in his life – a mile – until I dragged him off to South Wales. He’s currently working in an independent Builders Merchant, so will be looking for similar (warehouse/stock control/stores) work when we move. We’ve always said we would go where we felt God was calling us, and trust him to provide work for Malcolm. He’s also a Local Preacher, so you get two for the price of one!
We’re looking forward to new challenges, new and shared insights, and serving God with you all in September. May God richly bless us all.