As the Paralympics in London continue, we learn about The Reverend Nick Barr-Hamilton, the new Vicar of St George, Fatfield, in the Diocese of Durham in the Church of England. .
Cranmer, the blog, tells the story:
The Reverend Nick Barr-Hamilton will win no medals and receive no adulation as he takes up his post as Vicar of St George, Fatfield, Washington, in the Diocese of Durham. But a paracleric deserves just as much admiration as a paralympian, even if the Paralympics move and inspire us more than the Paracclesia Anglicana ever will.
A wheelchair-user, Nick was severely injured playing rugby as a teenager and says the experience eventually brought him to the Ministry. He said: “As a teenager, I was highly active, playing rugby at north midlands division level and working towards the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. I was an NCO in the Army Cadets and was keen to join the Marines. However, when I was 16, I broke my neck playing rugby. The spinal injury put a stop to my outward bound activities and plans, and also turned me very much against God for a time.
“At University, I made some Christian friends with whom I spent over a year arguing against Christianity. I was studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge at the time and the more I looked into how everything works, the more I became convinced that there must be a Creator, a designer behind evolution.
“Eventually, I ran out of arguments against the person of Jesus and, after a realisation that there is more to life than just the here and now, God brought me to give my life to Jesus.
“After University, I spent a year unemployed, finally ending up in London as a fund manager. I became very involved in a church near where I worked and after several years of leading Bible studies, evangelistic groups and helping in pastoral work, a friend thought I should consider full time ministry.”