Friday 9 May 2014
Revd Mark Kinder is with us for a fortnight from Monday 12 May, observing what it means to be an inclusive church. Mark introduces himself and tells us a little bit about his background below. Please make him welcome as he leaves behind in Walsall his family, friends and parish to be with us to exchange his story with our stories.
I am looking forward to visiting St Martin’s for 10 days beginning on 12 June. I am very grateful to Revd Clare and other staff for this opportunity.
I am currently on study leave from my united benefice of two churches in central Walsall. I have been vicar in Walsall for seven years, before that I worked on an estate in Wolverhampton for nine years after my curacy. Ministry in Walsall is very challenging on many social, pastoral and spiritual levels. The two churches I lead are very focused on meeting people where they are, and finding ways to encounter the whole person with Christ’s love. One church, St Paul’s at the Crossing, is situated in the central shopping centre and following a radical renovation in 1990’s offers a coffee shop, other retail outlets, offices for two charity groups as well as a large worship space. We also have a wonderful day chapel open every day from 9.00am to 5.30pm which is used by many for quiet prayer – a ‘thin place’.
The main reason for visiting St Martin’s is to explore what it means to be a truly inclusive church as well as how you minister in a similar (albeit grander) context! Whilst I am with you I will leave my wife and three teenage children who are all getting on with their working lives and I shall by staying with my parents who still live in Ealing.
Revd Mark Kinder