Hello there! It has been quite a while since we featured our “monthly” Wednesday Words guest post on the Blog. But we are now starting a fresh season and have lined up a great slate of visitors to write for us. Our Theme over the next 9 months will be “blasts from the past” and we have contacted a group of people who have been on Travelling Team, some even as far back as the 1980’s!
Today we are pleased to kick off our series with Robin Sim-Williams,who is currently a Church of England curate in London England but I will let him tell you his own story.
I was three years old when I first met Lamb at Day Camps. I was sitting on my mother’s knee at the back of the hall at St Matthew’s having just dropped off my brother and we were staying to watch the Main Presentation. We also had a travelling team member from South Africa staying with us that year.
Fast forward a dozen years or so and move from Montreal to Ottawa and we welcomed another travelling team only this time as well as hosting I was one of the local team and being encouraged to be travelling team the following year. I did a couple of years as travelling team, one year taking Day Camps to Québec City and then onto two villages on the Lower North Shore and another year leading a team. This time was very influential for me, as I first discovered something of what I’ve later realised was God’s calling to a life of ministry.
Fast forward nearly another two dozen years and move from Canada to the UK and I’m sitting on a horse preaching to 500 people as part of our annual Blessing of the Horses – only now there’s no Lamb to help. After nearly a decade working as an Engineer I finally followed the call which I had first had an inkling of in those Day Camp Team years. I trained in Cambridge and then started working at St John’s Hyde Park here in London as Assistant Curate in 2013. This is a good size church with a significant ministry to young families, so lots of my day camps training, the games, the songs, the ways we engaged the kids are obviously extremely useful.
The less obvious things, though, are equally important. The skills in managing a team and working together have actually been important both in my Engineering career and at St John’s. Sometimes I think back and am amazed with my teenage self and how I managed to chair meetings with the local churches planning the week ahead, reviewing each day and planning what was coming next. Knowing I’d done it then made it less terrifying the first time I had to do something like it in my current role. Relating to both of those two points, Day Camps also really broadened my idea of the Church and the residential training was one of the first times I had conversations with such a diverse set of Christians. Feeling at home there has made it much easier for me to work with colleagues from other churches with very different traditions from my own.
It has been an honour to be asked to guest blog and thank you for reading to the end. I’d like to finish the post by saying that probably the most significant role Day Camps played in my life today is helping me to sense God’s call to ministry. I tried for some time to hold it at arms length, but at the end of the day it is not we who choose Christ, but Christ who chooses us.