A deacon at St Mary’s Church in Thorpe has won a prize as Employee of the Month for developing excellent relationships with vulnerable clients.
The Revd Gerard Mee is a self-supporting minister (SSM) and a Community Support Worker with County Care, which supports people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues.
Gerard graduated from Salisbury’s Sarum Ministry Course in 2016, and is now a deacon and self-supporting minister at St Mary’s and is on track to be ordained a priest in June.
Gerard started working for County Care last August, and won the award – and a bottle of champagne – after establishing a trusting relationship with a client who had not been out of the house for four years, with the result that they have now managed to venture out into the community.
Gerard said: “I am a great supporter of self-supporting ministry. I believe I’m following in the footsteps of the French Roman Catholic priests in the 1920s who felt called to start the worker priest movement, serving God and their neighbour in the world of secular employment.
“I have always looked upon the Church as my mother and in my own small way I feel that by being an SSM I am giving something back to my mother who has always been there for me.
“I have always had a strong pull towards being a foot soldier of Jesus, and a priestly ministry of subtly acting out God’s love for anybody and everybody.
“The opportunity to offer support to local people living with a wide range of learning disabilities is both challenging and tremendously rewarding. I wouldn’t change it for the world!
“God willing, this exciting journey of serving Him shall be further enhanced when I’m priested at Guildford Cathedral this Petertide.”