A Few Words from Rev’d Gerard Rundell

A photograph of an adult man and woman and two small children; our new Curate, Gerard Rundell, his wife Karen, and their children Theo and Phoebe

Gerard and Karen Rundell, and their children Theo and Phoebe

Originally published in Gateway Magazine, Februrary 2018

I’ve been asked to write a few words about myself, so that you get some idea of who I am before I join you. Perhaps the best way I can think to do that is to offer some of the story that leads to me joining you as your curate in June.

Rev'd Gerard Rundell playing a xylophoneBefore to moving to Durham I was working as a freelance orchestral percussionist in London for several years. This means essentially that I made a living playing the triangle – though I did branch out to other more interesting instruments when the occasion called for it! I had, and have, a particular love for contemporary classical music and was the co-founder of an ensemble that worked with emerging composers to commission new pieces.

I was raised a Christian and continued to attend church most of my life, but it was during my final year at the Royal College of Music that I began to take my faith more seriously. A variety of things contributed to that including meeting my wife and the vibrant faith she introduced me to from a Charismatic Evangelical background in contrast to my Anglo-Catholic upbringing. The most formative moment that I can pinpoint on the way though centred around reading Thomas Merton’s ‘Seven Story Mountain’ – his beautifully written autobiography – and going on retreat at a monastery for the first time.

A photograph of Rev'd Gerard Rundell standing outside St Barnabas', Clapham, where he was parish assistantI discovered silence and prayer in a way I had not before experienced it and felt a strong call to serve Christ in a more whole-hearted, whole-life, way. I dabbled for a while with the idea that this might be a monastic vocation, but God kindly let me know that was not my call and I instead married Karen, for which I’m very grateful. A vocation to ordained ministry gradually emerged instead, and led me to take a part-time, paid role at my church. For two years I happily split my time between freelancing as a percussionist and doing at anything from fixing the drains, to pastoral visiting, to preaching and leading at church.

The final chapter of the story, after being shuffled through my Bishops’ Advisory Panel, took me to Durham to study for ordination at Cranmer Hall. My time here has introduced me to the riches of theological education; I’ve met many wonderful people; our family has grown from two to four; and it has convinced me that the North East of England is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has been an adventure getting to this point, and I look forward very much to continuing that adventure as I begin my ministry, and continue to learn from the wisdom I am sure to discover among you at Alnwick and Denwick.

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