Beside the Syrian Sea

Faith Goes Walkabout creating a new look on faith journeys.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Spiritual journeys, life journeys, bringing work, church and family life into one dimension.

Sometimes our lives become little boxes and different compartments, hard to fit together. Like a jigsaw with the middle piece removed.

I want to show how the bits and pieces of life can fit together through faith, with Christianity as the central piece of the jigsaw.

My own journey is not so very different to many people, but in sometimes events seemed to hurtle towards me, as they often do!

My hope is that Faith Goes Walkabout will show  this continuing journey, looking ahead with confidence and behind with reflection.

As well as my work, I am often away on a pilgrimage. I have visited many places, some of which are recorded in the page on Walkabout .Pilgrimages, wonderful adventures and shows just what happens when you follow a call to far off places.

Much fun on the way too!!

Journey so far…

Since being ordained in 2010 in Norwich Cathedral my life has changed in many ways.

My professional career has mainly been in teaching, through years in the primary school, headship in rural church schools and areas of town deprivation.

Just when I thought things were going well I  recognised that God was calling me to be ordained. This was a hard decision at the time, although I now know that the decision was made for me and I just needed time to accept the calling.

I had also started to pursue a career in Early Years development and largely responsible for over 40 Sure Start Children Centre programmes from the drawing board to fruition.

I was and still am working through our newly formed SmithMartin Partnership LLP, which gave the opportunity to be flexible in pursuit of enabling chances for children and families in areas of deprivation. During the early 2000’s we were able to bring together different bodies to enable life chances to be improved.

Much of this work was in London Boroughs and I loved the energy in the inner city.

But the funding for Children’s Centres and enablement of joined up services was brought to a swift close at the election of 2010.

Some of this now seems history but it indicates my direction of travel and position in 2022.

Since 2017 I have been working with the Diocese of Ely as Bishop’s Officer for Schools’ Mission, overseeing over 85 schools in Christian mission and working with headteachers and governors in all areas of Christian identity for the school.

During Covid, life became hard as schools were closed, pupils and families experienced isolation, and in some cases severe illness and family bereavements.

In 2021, I also became licensed as an Assistant Priest in our benefice of Gayton, Grimston and Massingham, in West Norfolk. Although I had always helped the team, we had a very sad loss of our Team Rector and with one incumbent for 10 parishes I offered to help. Although I am not sure that rural parish ministry is really for me, it is a joy to be part of the communities and to be a minister to people in the church.

Before that in 2012 at the completion of 4 years as a curate in a group of rural parishes I  moved into hospital chaplaincy. Part of my week was in the hospital with people in beds!  Very different from people in thick winter coats in church. 

And so the journey continues…. I ask for direction and sometimes I receive it. Sometimes I just have to listen rather than do, and its then that the way becomes clear and a pathway emerges in front of me and travels ahead with confidence even when I can’t see around the corners.

Rev’d Sue Martin 

Follow me now on Twitter… @revdsuemartin