Two doctors, seeking God together

A year ago, medical doctors Tom and Harriet Dove decided that they needed to take a year to step out of the intense pace of their lives and reflect. Married for two years, the Doves were both working at a hospital in Nottingham, where they’d completed medical school.

As part of their year-long break, the Doves travelled to complete a Catholic pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, journeying 900 kilometers on foot for five weeks across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. ‘We were taking time off from the conveyer belt of medicine that kept going,’ Tom explains, ‘having a break from the system to regain perspective. The walk was very quiet—the same rhythm every day. Walk, then eat lunch. Walk, then have a snack and a drink. Walk, then have supper. It was such a simple way to live; it gave us space to reflect and to walk with God. It was about slowing our minds down so we could think a bit more clearly.’

By the end of their pilgrimage, Tom had recognised a possible interest in pastoral work and deeper theological study, and the Doves were discussing the idea of theological college. The couple visited Trinity, with Tom considering the Graduate Diploma programme, because they saw Trinity as a place where they could engage academically while also moving closer to family.

During their interview day, Harriet sat listening with Tom and thought about her own desire for a deeper understanding of the Bible since becoming a Christian a few years earlier. ‘When we visited, I realised I could do this also,’ she remembers. ‘I didn’t have to have a certain background or to have already done certain things. When they talked about spouses doing part-time studies, I thought I’d like to do that. But then when they talked about the community here, and what it can mean to learn in community, I thought, “I want to do this.”’ Though Harriet had already secured a place for her GP training in Bristol, the surgery accepted her deferral of the job for the year it would take to complete the Certificate programme full time.

I want to grow my faith with all these people,’ Harriet adds, ‘with people from all different backgrounds and viewpoints, and to have discussions with people with different experiences.’

With their shared concern for medicine and ministry, the Doves wait to see the ways in which God may direct them after Trinity.

From Trinity’s Autumn 2016 Newsletter

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