Today we meet Christina Arnold, another person who does many things at St Mary’s, but enough from me, I’ll let Christina introduce herself.
Could you tell us a little about all the things that you do at St Mary’s?
I attend worship at St Mary’s with my two children Freya and Eli. You will normally find us in the 11am worship on a Sunday.
I am part of the Family worship planning team, which is exactly as it says on the tin. We plan for the family worship service trying to keep it, fun interactive and inclusive for all ages. As part of this role I also get to stand at the front sometimes to help lead the service with the rest of the team.
When we were meeting face to face on a Sunday morning I helped with the youth which I always enjoyed and learnt lots from.
I am also taking over as safeguard officer in the church, so watch this space.
How did you come to faith and why is faith so important to you?
I grew up attending church with my mum and joining in with youth groups, when I was 14 I went to may camp with my youth group and remember during evening worship really meeting with Jesus, feeling the Holy Spirit come down and that was when my relationship with Jesus became real.
Faith is so important to me because I have a relationship that means I am never alone and that in all decisions God has a hand in it and together we are on a journey. He also puts amazing people around me as part of my church family.
Tell us a bit about your current job role?
I am a Neighbourhood Warden, which is an amazing job that I am still so grateful to have been blessed with. I get to work with a variety of people in the community of Ashington, trying to improve the community they live in. I get to work with the elderly and vulnerable, youth, children and families running different groups or activities. I also help to prevent Anti Social Behaviour in the area by working with the community and the police. If I can’t directly help then I can often signpost to someone who can.
Over the last year have you found any new hobbies? Or developed any you already had?
In the last year we have bought our first house and so we have spent the year learning lots of new DIY skills. I now know how to wallpaper and lay a carpet. Other hobbies I still enjoy though are cross stitch and puzzles (particularly Disney ones!)
If you could give a younger you a single piece of advice what would it be?
Not to worry so much about what other people think should define you, but focus on your God given gifts and where God wants you.
I always wanted to please those around me particularly in trying to achieve in academics, but never felt I could achieve what was expected. I can now see my gifts are elsewhere. So although I still tried my best with education God has used all my gifts to get me where I am today.
Do you have a favourite Bible verse and why?
1 corinthians 12 v 12(-27)
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
I love the image that we are all one body but have different functions to complete the work. It is the great strength of the Church and it has always helped me to understand that comparing myself to others doesn’t help because we all have great gifts that complement each other to complete God’s work in us.
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
I would choose to be able to turn invisible. It would be great fun being able to do invisible random acts of kindness (as well as the odd trick).