My ordination story: Rachel Collins

25 June 2024

Rach Collins

One of the joys of the competencies that ministers are measured against is that it is much more about what God is doing than what I am doing, and also that it has always been about others noticing and confirming that call.

Whether it be Steve my university chaplain who was so certain of my call to local preaching that when I eventually found it and told him I though God wanted me to be a preacher he just laughed and said "well duh", or friends at my testimony service who had never seen me preach before saying that I make sense as a minister when they saw me in context.

I've been a Christian my whole life but I really claimed my faith as my own through experiences in my teens at Christian festivals where I was challenged to not be lukewarm but as the modern-day parlance might put it, go big or go home.

Growing up in a very Methodist family, I’m a 6th generation preacher and my Great Great Great Grandad was a Primitive Methodist minister as well as many generations in between, and most recently my Mum, it was almost expected I'd be a minister "like my mum!"

Yes there are things I've learnt from her but most of all I hope that I, like her, can follow this call to be the best minister God calls me to be.

I am actually a minister, not because of my family, but because some of my peers showed me that someone of my age, my generation, with my shared experiences could be a minister and both in finding my call to preach and my call to the ministry God used my friends to go ahead of me and then God punched me in the stomach and said "you can do that too" so to Nay and to Paul I am incredibly grateful that you followed the call on your lives and let God speak through you into me finding mine.

I've now done almost 2 years in Swindon, a place with not a great reputation but a place I've loved since I was sent and God placed it in my heart. I’ve mastered its magic roundabout, tried over 50 flavours at the ice cream shop been on the local radio and been round the steam museum. And I’m loved and cared for and challenged by the people who are given to me to do exactly the same back. I've loved messy churches and school assemblies, being chaplain to an MHA Community and the local Pride Hub, journeying alongside people in all the moments of their lives and being invited in to do home communions.

In all the special and the ordinary I have found my place as a minister in Swindon.

I thank God that I get to live this life and serve these people and look forward to all the future holds with the one who holds the future.