Born in Cardiff , she attended Bishop Hannon R.C. Comprehensive School and she read theology at the University of Bristol. Very much a Roman Catholic at the time, after marrying Simon, a fellow student who was an aeronautical engineer, she became a R.E. teacher at The Beckett School in Nottingham. She had daughter Frankie and then moved to Ashfield School in Kirby-In- Ashfield. She then had son Andy before leukaemia –myloid dysplasia, struck!
It is likely that she had had it for 3 years and during pregnancy. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant. Luckily her sister was a good match. She was diagnosed in June, treated in August and was given the all clear in September. However recovery was much slower. She attempted to return to work after the following Easter but after coming off steroids was diagnosed with fibromylegia, a member of the arthritis family. Symptoms are aches and pains, tiredness and what Mary describes as a “fuzzy head”. There is no medication for it: it has to be managed by not overdoing things and living a balanced life.
It was whilst undergoing the transplant, in complete isolation that Mary explains in her disarming matter of fact manner that she was given the chance to listen to God instead of yakking on.” She felt very strongly that God was asking her to share his love with others and that we are all loved by God. She had a sense that to share in this was a specific moment when ill. She had forgotten the words to ’Hail Mary’ when feeling very low and unable to pray and then felt that God physically lifted her up and that she was surrounded with his love which was part of being prayed for so many people around her.
When Mary first began to get better she thought about becoming a deacon but was saddened that because she was a woman she couldn’t nor even talk to a priest about it. In the meantime the family moved to Toulouse for Simon’s job. The family attended a R.C. church for a year but felt increasingly isolated and not integrated into the Parish. Then an American lady called Amy suggested they gave the Anglican church a go. Mary became part of the Anglican chaplainsy in Toulouse. On a retreat, the American author Liz Curtis, in a 1 to1 session invited Mary to discuss her calling and suggested she moved to the Anglican church, saying “Who said ‘No’ Man or God? On moving back to this country Mary discovered that women could become priests. She found the organisation called the Church Army who felt she was an evangelist. She trained for 3 years with them and is a Church Army officer. She was admitted to the office of Lay Evangelist by the Archbishop of York in 2007 who said the role was to” loiter with intent” not to tub thump.She did this work from 2007 to 2010, when the Church Army decided that officers could be ordained. She looked at becoming an incumbent priest (earning a stipend and having a leadership role).She went forward for selection, spending a year at Mirfield College of Resurrection being trained and was ordained a deacon in 2014 and a priest in 2015.She spent last yyear at St Mary Magdalen at Sutton –In-Ashfield.
Mary is looking forward very much in getting to know the parish, becoming part of the community and being there when needed. We offer her a very warm welcome.