I’m Ruth Edmonds, I’m an ordinand (trainee priest) placed at Cotham Parish church for a few hours a week and should be around on the majority of Sunday mornings for the next year or so. I’m also involved in Foundation which I used to co-lead under Iain McColl at Henleaze for a couple of years before God called me to spend some time elsewhere.
I’ve chosen to be based at Cotham for two main reasons: firstly, because of David your vicar who is an extremely gifted and gentle model of ministry with a lot of strengths that I personally lack (so a great person to learn from) and secondly, because I have been involved with the Foundation service in the past and am very close friends with Tim Summers.
I’m currently in my second year of three years of studies, and I am studying a Masters in Theology as the backbone of my training. There are lots of different types of placement, and the placement I have at Cotham is just for me to reflect on and get some practice preaching and leading in. Don’t worry you won’t have to report on me or anything at the end of my time here! The purpose of my being here is for me to reflect on Cotham as a church for my studies and in my essays. I’m training at the Queens’ Foundation in Birmingham which is a really special ecumenical theological college with a significant emphasis on global theologies, migration, racism and social justice. I live at Queens’ for half of the week and am based in Bristol for the other half.
I’m married to James who can often be found playing classical guitar at Foundation. He is training to be a solicitor with Burges Salmon and has a long history of working as a caseworker and running a busy constituency office in South London where he specialized in immigration and housing casework. We moved to Bristol City Centre in August and have been married for over 3 and a half years.
My spirituality roughly follows an Ignatian formation.
For me God is found in contemplation of the every day and my prayer life is particularly connected to activism. Personally, I find I cannot breathe God in without being moved to struggle with God to build a more just and equal world here and now. I’ve done some work with refugees/ migrants in the past and for me there is something about migration that deeply reflects the incarnation: a journeying human and divine God in the world God made. Jesus himself was a poor non-white Jewish migrant after all!
It feels instinctively and also intimately true to me that when you help others, you get a glimpse of the face of a redeeming God in those that you help.
I am also a passionate believer in interfaith work (particularly among the three Abrahamic faiths), feeding people and seeking to reflect the scandalous way Jesus lived and ate with others. I’ve learned a lot from studying with an orthodox rabbi at Queens which I will probably bore you with at some point.
I’m looking forward to getting involved with hosting community lunches with you on a regular basis. Hopefully they will be scandalous in content and company too!
Welcome (back) Home, Ruth! – editor