Friday, 29 April 2016

Terry Hampton Moves to Grouville in 1983

Just before he moved to Grouville Church, the Reverend Terry Hampton penned this piece for “The Pilot” magazine which is a look back at his life, and his time in St Ouen and at St Aubin on the Hill. It is written in his inimitable style, full of humour, but also the deep faith which was also the mark of the man.

The cover of that edition of “The Pilot” has a lovely photo of Terry and his wife Rosemary against the backdrop of Grouville Church., which I have reproduced above.

During his time at St Aubin on the Hill, Terry became a good friend, and in fact I am godfather to his youngest daughter stemming from that friendship. It was something of a wrench when the family left St Aubin for pastures new, but it was nice to visit them, usually on a Saturday morning, at Grouville when working with Rosemary on the Celebration of St Francis, and the Grouville History Pageant.

Spiritual Milestones
By Terry Hampton

(Whose Induction and Institution as Rector of St. Martin de Grouville will take place on 31st October 1983)

Last year I went to one of our local schools to talk about " A Day in the life of a clergyman". The best bit was the questions afterwards! "Do you get paid?" "Why don't some priests marry?" and a lot more besides.

To many people, not only youngsters, the way we spend our day is largely a mystery. Older people have ideas about us pootling around in slippers during the morning, reading The Times or perhaps The PILOT, doing a spot of gardening or looking at our butterfly collection before having lunch, a post-prandial nap, and then maybe, a few gentle visits. Tea, then the rigours of an evening meeting, and so to bed. No wonder clergy live so long!

Few of our parishioners know how we became Christians, or of the slog to make Theological College and convincing doubting Bishops, panels that God had called us into the ministry. Our worthy Editor has asked me to jot down a few spiritual milestones, and in the hope that some may be encouraged, here we go.

A Fearful Pest !

Milestone No 1. A small village between Lincoln and Gainsborough called Sturton by Stow. On the hills nearby, Scampton aerodrome, place of the Dam-Buster squadron. Because my parents had split up, I grew up with another family. They went regularly to church and took me along. Later Sunday School, where I was a fearful pest and my long suffering teacher vowed I would never survive to be twenty. (I went back years later as an Ordinand, and she was delighted that I was still alive and unhung, and that God truly moves in mysterious ways!) So the pattern of Sunday worship, and the thrill of being allowed to pass the collecting bag down the pew which only one Warden allowed; he has since claimed much credit for my becoming a cleric.

Amongst Real Friends

Milestone No 2. St Ouen, Jersey, our home from 1947 to 1960, A great parish to grow up in, and St Ouen's Church, a place of many wonderful memories. Edward and Molly Richardson, who put up with a very unruly group of lads, who loved us, prayed with and for us, and made their home a place of meeting and growing on Sunday evenings. Molly who taught me Latin, and Edward who let me loose on taking services, and who became such deep and wonderful friends so that I stayed with them before Rosemary and I were married in 1963. (Our twentieth wedding anniversary was in Israel this summer, spent on a camp site just outside Jerusalem.) Friends have always meant much to me, and the friends made in my St Ouen's days I still have: Brian is Vice-Principal of Victoria College, Francois is a fearsome Inspector of Produce, his brother Edouard and Jean have both made their marks in London, and in our own. States, Rodney is a lecturer up North, and so on.

Christianity: Attractive and Simple

Milestone No3. St Ouen was the means whereby a group of us went to Lee Abbey Youth Camp in 1956. There we met a remarkable and gifted man called "Scant" - officially Canon Scantlebury of Carlisle Cathedral, but Scant to all. He made Christianity so attractive and so simple that at Lee Abbey I become a committed Christian. (Sorry about those who don't like that word "committed", but .1 can't think of a better one.) Two years after Lee Abbey, at a Bryan Green Mission to Jersey, I felt that God was calling me into the ministry of the church. When I told Edward Richardson, he too was heard to murmur "God moves in a mysterious way"... .(Now where had I heard that phrase before?)

Then followed several years of study for more "O" levels, including Latin, and "A" levels done by correspondence course, in Roman History and Divinity. That really was a slog as I was doing both subjects in under a year, while still working all day at a building firm. But God who gives us the tasks, also gives us the strength for them. Four years at the London College of Divinity, where my New Testament tutor was Michael Green, were tremendous fun, as well as tough going academically. The friends made there have been over for holidays with us and have provided a lot of locum cover.

The Church Family

Milestone No4. St Aubin on-the-Hill, to distinguish it from the other churches in the village! Ten extremely happy years building up a church family, and working with Michael Halliwell, Gerald Stoddern, Colin Hough and John Le Page. I can't honestly say that I shall miss some of those protracted staff meetings, but I shall miss the fellowship and fun we had together. From the laughter coming from the vestry I've often wondered what the Communicare staff thought we did in there, and it was through sharing the funny things as well as the sadnesses, that we became a strong team.

I shall miss that very much, but I hope that we can build up a simple system of meeting with the Grouville clergy, Malcolm Brookes, Father Michael Ryan, John Dodd, and Malcolm Beale at St Clement. Clergy and people must work and share more together because we are all parts of the Body of Christ. The Wardens and Church Committee at Grouville have already made us feel very welcome, and St Martin de Grouville will be another milestone for us; teaching us new things, and I'm sure, being willing to learn from insights we have gained working for God in other parishes.

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