Greetings from the other side of town!

My name is Ruth Donegan-Cross and I am enormously looking forward to coming to be Curate at St John’s and St Luke’s, and to meeting you all. I will be ordained on July 2nd in Wakefield Cathedral, and will start my curacy shortly after that- all very exciting!

Simon has asked me to briefly introduce myself so here goes….

I grew up in Aberdeen, and only moved south of the border for University (Durham), where I studied Chinese. I met Guy there, and we are celebrating 25 years of marriage in 2016. We have four children: John, who is also studying Chinese at Edinburgh; Hamish, currently in U6 at York College; Toby, who is in L6 at St Aidan’s and Anna, who is in Y10, also at St Aidan’s. We have been in Harrogate for nearly 6 years; Guy is Vicar at St Mark’s, and he thinks I’m going to be spying for him – but don’t worry, I know where my loyalties lie – I will be spying for you!

Before Harrogate, we lived in Saltburn -by -the -Sea where Guy was Vicar, and we spent 7 very happy years building sandcastles and eating ice creams. We have also lived in other places including Bristol, Swindon, and China – but Harrogate is hard to beat!

I love cooking and being creative; I swim quite often, I like walking, countryside, watching films, and reading novels.

I have been Chaplain at Harrogate Ladies’ College for 5 years; this was an enormously steep learning curve for me, but I have loved my time there – I enjoy the creative opportunities of the role and the privilege of being Chaplain to pupils from all over the world – it is going to be quite a wrench to leave in July. However, leaving something good is so much easier when there is something exciting to go to, and I can’t wait to start exploring what ministry looks like for me within a parish setting. I’m now in the final of three years of ordination training. I first wondered whether God might be calling me to ordination back in my 20s, so this has been a long road for me! I have absolutely loved studying again at my great age – though I can’t always remember much from week to week. Studying theology has been the most exhilarating experience, and I think I understand things on a deeper level, even if I can’t remember them!

Please pray for me with 6 months to go before I finish- for the academic work I have to complete (lots!) – and more importantly, for my spiritual preparation for ordination – pray that I will find and use well the pockets of space God gives in the midst of my busy life. I would also appreciate your prayers for my family as we transition to worshipping in 2 churches – we know that this will be a bit strange for us.

Thank you for reading this – I am praying that you, the special people of St John’s and St Luke’s, may know the breadth and width and height and depth of God’s amazing love; and look forward to meeting you all in July!

Every blessing

Ruth Donegan-Cross