New Minister Introduction

I stood in my new study the other day, admiring my floor to ceiling bookshelves – basically a library of my own, every person’s dream right?! – and pondered the resources I had brought with me to Swindon.

I better introduce myself. I’m Revd Rach Collins, the new Minister at St Andrew’s, Rodbourne and Bath Road Churches.

I am brand new to Swindon, having spent the last two years training for Ministry at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and lived the rest of my adult life in the North West.
I’m halfway through my Masters in Theology, Mission and Ministry which I’ll finish in summer 2024 at the same time as I hope to be ordained. This means I’m a Probationary Minister and in many ways you won’t notice a difference from previous ministers (and I know you have had probationers before too!) but in some ways there are things that are distinct and I am very glad to know the North Wiltshire Circuit is on board with my continued training and development as I start what I hope to be a lot of years travelled in ministry.

I don’t arrive here alone but with my husband Matt, we’ve been married for 7 years and he’s now got used to me moving him around the country with Swindon being our third home together. Matt’s work takes him all over the UK. The simplest way to describe his job is live-streaming events and conferences.
We are big geocachers – for those of you not in the know you’ll have to ask me about it sometime.

But back to my bookshelves in my study. Everyone has their own unique skills and experiences that they bring to the church, both clergy and lay people alike. As I have gone through my youth and children’s work resources collected over my years working for churches as a youth, children and family worker, alongside my preaching and creative prayer resources, many handed down from others and others carefully chosen to enhance the worship I lead and the books I have acquired through my theological study, which in itself is a real range of classical theologians to present day feminist, womanist, queer and black theologians all bringing greater insight into the Bible and life as a Christian today, I can see the different aspects of what I’ve learnt and journeyed through over the years all coming together as I become a minister.

I’m a believer in bringing all that I am to all that I do. And these bookshelves bring all that I am, with photos of those who love and support me, a small part of my pig collection and the myriad of voices that have enhanced my studies and history. So, my study and I are ready to see what God has instore for the next step.

Looking forward to getting to know you.

Revd Rach