|Minister's Letter - September 2018|
|Rev Sue Keegan von Allmen|
It’s strange to be writing for The Link before I’ve met many of the people to whom I am writing! So, I thought I’d introduce myself, in the hope that you’ll do the same when we meet.
I am the eldest of four children, and I have two sisters and a younger brother. My brother was born 6 and a half years after me. We were brought up as Catholics, ‘though I didn’t go to church much after I was 12 or 13, and was sure I was an atheist when I went to university in Swansea. I read geography, followed by teacher training, ‘though never taught. I became a Methodist while I was there, after an experience in Ireland that I can’t properly describe, and trying some churches when I returned. One of my friends was involved in the ecumenical student fellowship group and I went with her.
Before I was accepted for training as a Methodist Minister, I worked as a community worker, as the District Mission Enabler for the South Wales District, and then for the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG) in London. I was there for 8 years, and was responsible for overseeing an international visitor’s programme, and the consultations with partner churches around the world. While I was there, I visited the Anglican church in Brazil, Japan, and Central and Southern Africa. I met Daniel, in Texas in 1989, at the World Council of Church’s Mission and Evangelism Conference. Daniel is a Swiss Reformed Minister. We married in 1994 and he became a URC Minister in St Albans. When he retired in 1999, we moved from his manse, to mine in Knebworth.
I began pre-ordination training in 1997 on a course, but went to Wesley House, Cambridge from 1998-9, and continued training during my first year as Minister of a new Methodist & URC Local Ecumenical Partnership in Knebworth, Hertfordshire. I became Superintendent of the St Albans and Welwyn Circuit in 2003. I moved to the West London Mission Circuit in 2008, where I’ve been one of the Ministers at Hinde Street, and Superintendent of a Circuit with two churches (one largely Chinese), a student hostel and a significant provider of services for people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma. I’m delighted that Peter Cornick is replacing me there and I’m looking forward to getting to know Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church and the Circuit.
Those are the facts! You may have already noticed that mission, world church and ecumenical relationships are recurring themes. I am also trained as a spiritual director and am passionate about supervision (for Ministers, lay staff and those who carry pastoral loads). What I’ve written for the Circuit website is also true of Chandler’s Ford. I’ll want to discover where you are – as individuals and churches – on your journey of faith, and what impact it has on your life and the life of the communities in which you live and work.
I look forward to getting to know you over the coming weeks and months, and to sharing together, in the mission and ministry God has given to each of us.
With good wishes, Sue.