Hello! My name is Linda Dytham and, as you read this letter, I will have arrived and moved into my new home in Heddington to begin my ministry as Associate Priest here amongst you in the Oldbury Benefice,
I would like to tell you a bit about myself: I was born and brought up in Rugby in Warwickshire in a non-Christian family, having one sister, who still lives there. However from a very young age I went to Sunday School because I wanted to and because I wanted to know more about God.
After leaving grammar school, I went into banking and worked there until I started my family in 1979. During my early married life, we moved as a family firstly to Chippenham, then Bideford in N.Devon and lastly to Burbage in Wiltshire where I have lived now for 25 years.
My now 3 grown up children are, Gavin, (34) married to Jennifer and living in Swindon; Neil (32) living in Portland Oregon and getting married to Stephanie in June this year; and Rebecca my daughter, now almost 30 and living in Chiswick working as a nanny.
I was divorced in 2000 and it was after that time that my faith grew stronger and I believed God was calling me to become more involved in ministry. However it was still a great shock to me when my minister suggested that I went forward for Ordination. Yet in an odd sort of way I had a real sense of peace about the suggestion and duly went through the long process of Selection.
I trained at STETS in Salisbury on a 3 year part-time basis whilst still continuing with my secular job at Haine & Smith Opticians, where I have now been employed for 17 years.
I have a pastoral heart and my college placement at Salisbury Hospital in the Chaplaincy Dept was where I developed more, my gifts of listening, pastoral care and counselling.
I did my curacy back at my home church in Burbage as a Non Stipendiary Minister and later in 2007 I also took on the role of Chaplain at a Nursing and Dementia Care Home in Swindon, looking after the pastoral needs of residents, family and staff.
I am very used to rural ministry; Burbage is in a Team of 11 churches and my role has been to lead worship in a variety of settings, from very traditional to modern, from All Age worship, childrens’ work to meditative prayer. I enjoy the breadth of style of worship that these different services offer. But I am also very keen to see Jesus taken out into the community and to develop Fresh Expressions of church outside of the church building.
I am really looking forward to getting to know you all better as we work together in this beautiful part of Wiltshire, so please do come and drop in for a cup of tea and a chat, anytime. (I am sure there will be a few boxes to unpack if you feel the need!)
With love and every blessing
10 Home Farm Close
Heddington SN11 0RH
Home: 01380 859571
Mobile: 07921 123422
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