19 November 2021

Sermons and scissors

 

My vision is, once qualified, to have a salon that is not profit driven but people focused; having the ability and resources to give people that bespoke experience to grow in confidence, well-being and joy. God is calling me to provide a different kind of service - one that engages hair and heart.

The Revd Darren Middleton explains why he is training to be a hairdresser

In July this year, whilst on Sabbatical, I decided to train in hairdressing and barbering at GHQ Training Academy, Plymouth. It struck me that, as we emerged from lockdown, next to seeing family and friends, hair was high on the agenda - people wanted hair salvation!

As a Presbyter in the Methodist Church I am challenged by our missional drive to be new people in new places. If we are to make a difference within our communities and be the presence of God’s love in Jesus, then we need to get out from behind our church walls. As a former Chaplain in the British Army (Commando Trained), I know the power of presence within a specific community.

There is no surprise to my four congregations that I am engaging a new challenge, having also been a West End dancer. Hairdressing is the perfect tool to engage the wider community. The salon is a place where people come from all backgrounds and places to have some personal time that is solely for themselves. A space is given to each client to be themselves and talk, or not! Part of the service that a hairdresser gives is to listen. The salon experience is a holistic one - pampering for the hair, nurturing for the soul.

Darren Middleton styles the hair of a member of his congregation  

I didn’t realise just how compatible sermons and scissors are but in fact, in reality, they are synonymous. Especially if one considers a sermon something that is lived in the community and not just spoken from a pulpit.

My hope (vision) is to give this experience to people who need it but can’t afford it; those who cannot go to a salon for whatever reason - the homeless and the outsider, the refugee, those suffering with mental illness and those who just need to be loved and given space to be…

In commercial salons this service is not possible due to the need to make profit. My vision is, once qualified, to have a salon that is not profit driven but people focused; having the ability and resources to give people that bespoke experience to grow in confidence, well-being and joy. God is calling me to provide a different kind of service - one that engages hair and heart.

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