GILL JUDGE introduces herself
Gill has moved here in place of Deacon Sarah. Principally she will work alongside Rev Betto in Poole and Broadstone.
To my new church family that gathers at Broadstone Methodist Church, greetings from Deacon Gill. I am very excited to be a part of the Poole Bay Circuit and to be serving our Lord Jesus Christ alongside you in this wonderful setting; I did thank our Lord again that ‘the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…’ (Psalm 16:6a). Di Baggs graciously offered to take me on a tour of the circuit churches, and Broadstone looks amazing! What also caught my eye was the M&S Food Hall, which I have already patronised. Do you also find parking a problem?
So, let me introduce myself to you. I was ordained to the Order of Deacons in South Africa in 2009 and was accepted into Full Connexion here in 2014 having completed 2 years as an ordained probationer.
Even though I was born in the UK I had lived all my life up until 2012 in Africa, first in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and then in South Africa. When I left school, I trained as a hairdresser and eventually had my own salon in Mandini, a small town on the north coast of Kwazulu Natal, a province of South Africa. Mandini grew up around ‘Enstra’ a paper mill belonging to the Sappi group. The location for the mill was chosen because Mandini is situated near the mighty Tugela River, which flows from the Drakensburg mountains into the Indian Ocean.
In 1984 I invited Jesus Christ into my life as my Lord and Saviour and I thank the Lord almost every day that the foundation for my life in Christ was laid in a charismatic church situated in Stanger, a town 20 minutes away. But after 9 years of fellowship and teaching Sunday School the Lord shut the door there and opened a wide door to the Methodist Church in my hometown of Mandini. The worship was vastly different but the welcome was very warm and genuine. I thought my mum and I were attending because a client from my salon invited us but God had something else in mind. I soon became a society steward, then circuit steward, studied to become a local preacher, which was just as well, because in South Africa one has to be a local preacher in order to become a deacon (in South Africa deacons are called to Word and Service), so preaching has always been an important part of my ministry as a deacon. It was my presbyter at Mandini who recognised God’s calling on my life to the Diaconate Order and for her discernment I will always give thanks.
Dave and I have been married for 40 years, what! We have 2 sons, Damian, who lives in South Africa with his wife Robyn and our 2 grandchildren, Mackenzie and Harper, adorable little girls, and our younger son Evan, who lives here in the UK – what a blessing he has been to us in our move to Poole.
I have just noticed the word count so I do need to close, but i am looking forward to becoming acquainted with you all and hearing your stories.
Love in him