Meet our new deacons - Greg Sharples

This week we bring you our interview with new deacon Greg who is serving in the South Widnes Team Ministry.

Q. What is your background? Previous jobs/life experiences before your calling?
I've worked for the Church for the last 10 years with students, 20' + 30's, more marginalised people and most recently youth. Before that i was an art student who went into marble masonry. I've been married to Sophie for 7 years and we have one 18month old son - Sebastian.

Q. What called you into ministry? What excited you, what challenged you?
Throughout my life I have gravitated towards leadership. In coming to faith I was able to see the most appropriate use of my particular leadership gifts in the context of serving the community of the Church as a worshipping, missionary people. The Church of England is the Church that my parents have been part of and the one i both rebelled from and returned to -  it is the Church that is my family - and consequently the place where i realised that a call to Church leadership is a priestly one and would take place in the form of ordained ministry.

Q. Is there a particular aspect of ministry that you are most passionate about and why?
Having had a strong experience of the redemptive love of Jesus and a personal renewal of purpose as part of his missional plan, i find myself eager to learn how i can both be and lead others in a missionary lifestyle. Marrying this strong outward drive with the traditions of worship and community expressed by the church is a challenge that both excites and stretches me (and us as a family) in equal (ish) measure.

Q. What parish will you be serving in? What opportunities and experiences are you looking forward to?
We are moving to be part of the South Widnes Team Ministry, working closely with the now legendary New Testament Scholar, Jeremy Duff. I am very much looking forward to learning what Church growth in a smaller town looks like (I have primarily worked in cities with well resourced churches), with a team ministry where people are coming to faith.

Q. What are your hopes for the future?
I am excited to work in a diocese that has a clear vision for growth and the ongoing progression of leaders. I am delighted to be joining in with what God is already doing in the Northwest and hope to be part of the leadership development Liverpool is committed too. My primary hope is that we will see ongoing renewal in the Church, breathing life into its community.