Ladies n' Genminminminmin (er, min...) we have Clergy in 'The Clearing'!
Please welcome my very dear and lovely old friend The Reverend Olivia Coles. A real life "Vicar of Dibley" here in The Good Listening To Podcast: The Story Behind Your Story Show! recorded as a FaceBook LIVE!
"More tea Vicar?"
"No, but I'll have another one of those Rock Cakes. Those are the buggers that made me fart..." erm, etc!
Olivia Coles is the Vicar of Whittlesford, in Cambridgeshire. Her late father, Jeremy, was himself a Vicar, her mother Margaret was a Trauma Counsellor (and still with us).
Her husband, Alasdair, is a Professor of Neuropathology at Cambridge University and he too is ordained. Their son Alex is a Northampton Saint! (He plays Rugby professionally - he has not been canonised!) Their social worker daughter, Kana, is currently specialising in Domestic Abuse.
More about Olivia:
Olivia herself has enjoyed a lot of training, a lot of counselling and a lot of open-house life experience in Zambia and Peru as well as in the UK. Her faith is God is beacon-like without being off-putting. Her sincerity shines through her conversation. Some might say she exhibits evidence of low self-esteem. Others might more charitably recognise her attractive humility and wonderful work ethic.
The Reverend Olivia Coles loves people. She loves listening to them. She loves sharing their joy at christenings and weddings, as well as in old age, supporting their grief at funerals and wakes. Olivia takes her job very seriously - but not herself. (She once sat in a bath of porridge as a student for a whole day to raise money for charity!)
For Olivia, all relationships are of paramount importance. Primarily, of course, her relationship with God and then follow all her other relationships - with her extended family and many friends, her parishioners and the wider community, including refugees arriving soon under her roof from Ukraine.
She loves walking with her dog, especially on the seashore, describing the sea itself as ‘God’s paintbox’.
Olivia has no doubt whatsoever that God is always with us. She has no doubt whatsoever that God loves us unconditionally. Her best advice resonates the recommendation of all 12 Step fellowships: “Let go and let God!”
She is a lovely friend and a wonderful human being with a big heart and a warm enthusiasm.
Reg Starkey - Health Triangle Magazine