In our final interview in our new deacon series we hear Dan Langdon-Griffiths' story. Dan will be serving in the Sutton Team Parish, in St Helens.
Q. What is your background? Previous jobs/life experiences before your calling?
Immediately prior to going to Durham for ordination training, I worked in the Kirkby team parish as a project developer. This gave me some valuable insight into the reality of ministry in our diocese.
Before that my work history is quite varied, including experiences from recruitment, to engineering and even a stint as a used car salesman!
Q. What called you into ministry? What excited you, what challenged you?
My friend and mentor first discerned that God could be calling me to this ministry. He happened also to be my vicar, which was handy! I was dubious, but excited by the prospect that God could possibly use someone so ordinary as me, for something so extraordinary as a life in ordained ministry. Having said that, I’m still surprised by this and, I suspect I will continue to be surprised for some time to come.
The challenges so far have been too numerous to list. However, where they have arisen, God has always been gracious, and has blessed me with excellent friends who have loved and supported me through every difficulty.
Q. Is there a particular aspect of ministry that you are most passionate about and why?
A part of ministry that I have always found compelling is meeting people during the liminal moments in life. This ministry allows us to share in the joy of weddings, or the pride and hopefulness of baptisms, and the profound privilege to be able, with God, to guide and comfort people as they experience loss and bereavement.
It is in these moments, when we are forced to recognise our humanity, and the fragility of this earthly life, God’s presence seems to be all the more real to us, and that’s quite something.
Q. What parish will you be serving in? What opportunities and experiences are you looking forward to?
I will be serving in the Sutton Team Parish, in St Helens. I am looking forward to meeting, living alongside and learning more of God with the people of Sutton. These are exciting times for the parish as God is clearly working through the people and minsters there, and I look forward to joining them, and to seeing what God has in store for each of us in the near future.
Durham is a beautiful place, and I will always be grateful for the experiences I’ve had there, but it is a real joy to be back home in my native North West.
Q. What are your hopes for the future?
There are some great opportunities in Sutton, and I’m really honoured to be able to play a small part in God’s plan there. I’m very eager to find out what amazing new things will grow there in the next few years.
Q. Any other info you would like to add..
I find that life is so much smoother when you have plenty of tea and cake!