The Assistant Curate's page

Rev'd. James Monro

I have been around our eight parishes since I was ordained in 2012; first in the easternmost six as curate in what was the Saxon Shore Benefice, then as assistant curate for Hunstanton and Ringstead, and now as assistant curate for all eight in the recently united benefice.

My home is down the road in Docking, a village that I have known all my life, and where I now live in the family house after a career in medicine. Before I retired from general practice in Somerset, I began training for the ministry at Sarum College in Salisbury. My vocation came in the form of a persistent and increasing feeling that if I did not explore ordination with the Church of England, I would always regret not doing so. God spoke to me in the inner, “still, small voice” that can be heard without words from time to time.

During training, I was fortunate to be able to visit Msalato Theological College near Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania. There, I undertook an assignment investigating the relationships and interactions between Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion, and making many Tanzanian friends. I have been back several times since, taking peoples’ gifts to help reconstruct a church building shattered by an earthquake, buy much needed schoolbooks and desks, and lastly to buy the where-with-all to lay a water main when I met up with a retired water engineer from the USA.

The coronavirus pandemic has prevented further visits to the area, but I am hopeful that I will be able to go again in the future. However, my friends tell me that the virus has been much more deadly than their government will admit. While a curate, I spent time in the Episcopalian parish of St. Philip’s in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, experiencing life in small-town rural USA, somewhere quite different from the usual tourist venues.

Here in North-west Norfolk, I have involved with the foodbank based in the church hall at St. Edmund’s since its beginnings in 2013. Sadly, it has become busier each successive year, but we are kept going through the generosity of local people. I am also a governor at Hunstanton Primary School, and, when circumstances allow, enjoy being in school for assemblies.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has closed our youth club at St. Edmund’s: Friday nights are just not the same anymore but there are exciting plans for when we can start again.

As well as travel, I enjoy exploring the locality in the company of my dog and keeping my garden productive. I feel very fortunate indeed to live in this part of the world.

          James Monro