25 October 2016
Resident Ron Smith, 96 shares his story about his career change to become a Vicar
A resident at Maycroft Manor, our care home in Brighton, has told us all about his drastic career change from a City Insurance Broker to become a Vicar.
Ron Smith, 96, worked in insurance for 40 years and decided to dedicate the rest of his days to the church and become a vicar when he retired in 1975.
Growing up, I lived in Guildford and I went to a Royal Grammar School and lived there whilst working in the City. I have always been a part of the church, in my 20’s I trained to become a Layman and I would do this every weekend. The church has always meant a lot to me, as this is where I met my late wife, she was in the choir.
I started working in insurance when I left school and for the longest period of time I was working with a company which is now known as AXA. I worked in the insurance industry for 40 years in total and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In 1968, I was asked to relocate for my work, from Guildford to Brighton. I didn’t mind this at the time, Brighton was lovely and my job was great. I lived and worked in Brighton right up until my retirement. After I had retired, I thought it was time to give my life to the church full time. I had always wanted to be a Minister, ever since my early days of laying and preaching in my teens. I completed two years of training and became an official Minister when I was ordained in 1975 at the United Reformed Church on North Street in Brighton.
The church is a big part of my family life too, not only did I meet my wife there, my son is also an Organist. He plays at every Sunday’s church service and for events such as weddings. Ministerial life is something I’ve always had in me. The main parts of pastoral care is being there for people, helping them get through daily problems, listening and guiding people and just being there to comfort them when they’re in need. This is something I love doing and something that comes naturally to me. I worked as a Minister for 40 years and gave it up in 2015 as I was getting to old and frail to run the services. If I ever get to heaven, I will ask God for two things: 1) To make older people’s bones more flexible so their joints don’t hurt as much and 2) If I can watch down and see the football scores every Saturday!
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