My name is Nat and I am currently about to start my second-year training as a Children and Youth Minister in the Peterborough Diocese. When my training is finished, I will be working for the Rutland Deanery.
I live on my family farm, with my husband Pete and two teenage daughters Evie 13 and Abigail 16 and up until a year ago I managed a 20,000-bird poultry unit and was making plans for my next move to a bigger farm – silly me!
I have felt God’s call in my life for a while and would like to say I embraced it but being human I doubted I had the skills and knowledge to follow that call, I still do! I have been on our village PCC for a few years and served as Church Warden, I also helped to start a messy Church group, I thought all of these things would ease that sense of God’s calling, but I couldn’t ignore it any longer, so here I am!
I love being part of the Mothers’ Union family; it supports two of the things I am most passionate about, one being intergenerational worship and the other the power of prayer.
I was lucky enough to grow up with both sets of Grandparents and a Great Grandma, and although I didn’t realise it at the time my Great Grandma was the one who helped to sow that first seed of Faith.
My Great Grandma lived independently by herself till the day she passed away at 94, cooking for us all and always making sure to have the sweet jar full, she really was a very special lady. She hadn’t had the easiest of lives, contracting polio as a child left her partially deaf, she lost my Great Grandad to cancer when she was in her early 50’s, she also lost her son to a motor bike accident, he had only just come home from the war.
Her house was always busy with friends and family and I don’t think I ever saw her get cross or say an unkind word. Every night she would kneel next to her bed to pray even at 94, and when having a sleep-over I would kneel next to her, I didn’t really understand it but I knew it felt special. Her faith was very important to her and part of her everyday life, and she gave us the gift of taking the time to share it with us. I was only 14 when she passed away so she never got to see what a difference she made to my faith journey, but I guess she knows.
How privileged we are as Christians to have the opportunity to live out our faith every day, touching the lives of others for Christ.
I grew up in the environment of a large, loving family, a mix of all generations, sharing skills and knowledge with each other and empowering us all when we were young, and now, to go out and try to succeed in some things and make mistakes with others, with the confidence they would be there to support.
I now live next door to my sister and my mum and dad aren’t far away, and we have tried to do the same with our two girls and my nephew – it is a team effort!
But family doesn’t just mean someone we are related to, people I have met over the years have had a huge impact on my life, my Church family is one of them. As a Church it’s so important that we come together to worship and learn from each other.
It continues to amaze me the things children and young people say, things that can completely turn your thoughts around, they look at scripture with different eyes. I find they help me to think about how my faith and the way I share Christ with others, which can make a real difference and be so relevant in these new and sometimes troubling times.
Praise God for the individual gifts and skills we all have to offer across the generations, and though we may never know the difference we make to others, we just have to trust in the awesome wonder of His plans.
‘We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders he has done’ Psalm 78:4
Here are some family friendly links to some easy to use resources, if I can be of further help please get in touch, I would also love to hear about any resources you have found useful.
The Church of England, Faith at Home
Parenting for faith
Flame, creative children’s ministry
Pinterest has so many ideas to chose from.
The kitchen table project
The Bible society
Nat Stiles email: firstname.lastname@example.org