St Saviour’s is having an ordinand (trainee vicar) on placement with us from Advent until Easter. Joe Cooper is in his first year of training and will be observing and taking part in the life of our church in the months ahead. We look forward to supporting Joe and learning from him in the process.
Here Joe introduces himself:
I was born in Sheffield, raised in Handsworth and now live in Aston, Rotherham. I was christened at St Mary’s but have spent most of my life worshipping at Handsworth Methodist Church. I joined the Boy’s Brigade as a young boy and rose through the ranks eventually becoming a Lieutenant. In 2010 I left Handsworth Methodist Church in order to found a new Boys’ Brigade Company. The 1st Rotherham Boys’ Brigade was founded in 2011 and is now based at Aston All Saints where I serve as the Captain.
I met my wife Lindsay in 2004 at ASDA where we both had part-time jobs. Lindsay was 16 and I was 17. We married in 2013 at Aston All Saints. Our son George arrived the following year. We are currently expecting our second child who will be born in March next year. It was Lindsay who initiated my process towards ordination. In 2012 I sensed I was being drawn towards ordained ministry as when surfing the web I kept ending up on the Church of England’s “recruitment page”. Startled by the realisation that it may be God calling, I prayed a simple prayer, “Lord if this is what you want me to do, then Lindsay must be the one to start it”. And that was that and I put the matter to bed… or so I thought! The following year when coming home from a meal together, Lindsay quite out of the blue said “Joe, you’re in the wrong job, you would make a fantastic vicar”. Uh oh! And there began the process.
I currently work for Sheffield City Council, Environmental Services. I manage two teams, the domestic pest control team and the filthy and verminous cleansing team. If you’ve ever seen the “Life of Grime” or equivalent, that is what we do. A large part of my role involves surveying properties in order for them to be “environmentally cleaned”. I never know what I am going to come across when that door opens! I’ve developed a strong stomach and the ability to ignore unsavoury odours! I love my job at Environmental Services, it is incredibly rewarding being able to help some of the most isolated people in society. However, working for the council is incredibly tough at the moment due to the recent and ongoing cuts. The time is right to be moving on.
When not working, churching or studying, I love spending time with my family. I enjoy reading, music, walking and watching sport. I am very much looking forward to my placement and time spent at your church.