Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Francis Wood

Called to serve

"Do you think I have a vocation?" asked the taxi driver as I clambered aboard his cab. "A vocation to what?" I returned. "Well, I went to the funeral of my old school teacher the other day. The vicar said that he had `followed his vocation' to the end. Is it only vicars, teachers, nurses and singers who have a vocation? Could a taxi driver have one?" Now I understood.

Perhaps it seemed strange to him that God could call someone to a life spent driving people round the town. But why not? Think of the qualities you need to do the job. Patience, a clear head, sense of responsibility and sometimes even bravery. The first question you ask when deciding if a job is vocational or not is "can I offer this work to God?" After all you could hardly expect God to call someone to a life of crime. So with the help of St Christopher, perhaps driving a cab could be vocational.

I once worked in a laboratory where, every 24 hours, there would be 100s of test-tubes, bottles and beakers waiting to be washed. At nine o'clock each morning, Mrs Pengelly arrived. She worked at the sink until three o'clock with soap, brushes and cloths to produce sparkling glass ware.

I once asked her if she felt that she was called by God to this work. Her reply was: "I have a vocation to be a good wife and mother to those at home. The hours in the laboratory suit me and the pay helps me to do that. Yes, I see washing-up as a vocation."

So I felt that I could encourage my taxi friend in his quest for a vocation. It all reminded me of the definition of the office of chaplain in the Royal Navy. In Queen's Regulations, his job description is "friend and adviser of all on board ship". The best kind of taximan could be just like that.


On Wednesday next, St Hugh's Church, Gosforth (next to Wansbeck Road Metro), will be open from 10am to 2pm for prayer, reflection and lighting candles in support of the victims of the tsunami disaster. …

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