On 3.5.17 Fr John Richardson told us about his life and upbringing and how he came to enter the ministry. We were surprised to learn that Fr John was born in South Africa. However, when he was about 4 years old, he came to this country with his parents and lived in Heaton. He considers himself to be from Newcastle upon Tyne and amused us with the tale of how he once had to prove that he actually was English.
Fr John, whose father was a ship-worker and whose mother worked at the swimming baths, was brought up during the war years. Having passed the eleven plus he attended the grammar school where he passed his “O” levels. On leaving school he started work in an insurance office. That work not being to his taste he left and started work as a disc jockey. Later, aged 26, he went to Ilkley College and took a course in Youth and Community work. It was while he was at college that he first realised that God was calling him.
At around that time he became involved with a church youth group which was where he met the lady who was to become his wife. He got a job at a Youth and Community Centre in Manningham, Bradford, where he worked for 3 to 4 years. He then obtained a job as a part time lecturer and youth worker in Ilkley. Throughout those years he continued to hear God’s call and eventually attended a ministry selection conference. Rather to his surprise he was accepted for training and studied at Carlisle and Blackburn.
He worked part time doing Youth and Community work and, when ordained, worked part time in a parish in Preston. He then became a Parish priest in Preston as well as being a Chaplain at Preston College. He then spent a year in Spain where he worked as a chaplain. In due course he was all set to retire when he went to see Bishop Paul, who advised him to contact Fr David here at Guiseley with Esholt. In due course he joined our clergy team.
Fr John has been married for some 46 years and has two daughters. One of his daughters is a barrister and the other makes films. Fr John concluded his talk by outlining his personal spirituality. He described it as providing living loving care on behalf of a loving God who is an artist rather than an academic. He feels that creation is still forming and growing and that Mission is shown by example. Although God speaks, a large part of the problem is that we, his people, don’t listen.
The MU trip is to Port Sunlight on Wednesday 7th June The next MU meeting is on Wednesday 5th July when the theme is “Come and Share”.