Revd Helen Johnson, RN, FdA (Theology), MA

Vice Principal (Formation)
Pastoral and Formation Tutor

A bit about me

I was born in Bristol, and have lived here all my life. I have a heart for this city and for its people to know the love of Jesus. I became a Christian at the age of seven in a local Baptist church, and since then I have been fully committed to serving Christ in whichever context, church, or community God has called me.

I was a nurse for fifteen years, initially at Southmead Hospital, and then in various community contexts across the city. I’m married to Chris, a Chartered accountant for Allianz, and we have two amazing children. In 2005, a house move led to us attending our local Anglican church, and it was not long after this that I was encouraged to explore a call to ordination. I trained for ministry in Gloucester under the umbrella of Ripon College, Cuddesdon, in order to broaden my limited understanding of all things Anglican. We were in South Bristol for curacy, in churches in the parishes of Bedminster and Whitchurch, and I took up my first incumbency at St Mary’s, Shirehampton in 2016.

As a church we are part of the Avonside Mission Area, and I’m Assistant Area Dean for Bristol West Deanery. I’m chaplain to the current High Sheriff of Bristol, and a trustee to YWAM Bristol. I completed my MA in Missional Leadership in 2017, with a particular focus on the impact of the ordination of women, and their leadership, on the missional direction of the Church of England. My passion is to equip and enable others to live out their calling, and my experience, and training, as a mentor, spiritual director, training incumbent and supervisor facilitate this.

When I’m not doing any of the above I love to play the oboe and listen to music of all genres. I enjoy reading and watching films for relaxation. As a family we love regular visits to the Pembrokeshire coastline, and walks along the beaches there. I also enjoy the opportunity to pick up some knitting, crochet, or cross-stitch. Time spent with family and friends is always appreciated, as well as space for creative writing and poetry.

My research interests

My nursing experience has led to an interest in holistic care, particularly in the area of psychosomatic illness and disease, and the role of the priest in healing and wholeness. Palliative care is also another area of interest, and best practice in care of the dying and bereaved.

Recently, my training as a spiritual director has led to a greater exploration of spirituality, and specifically Ignatian spirituality. As someone who is also passionate about all things charismatic, I have found that they are surprisingly complimentary.

My own experiences as a woman in church leadership, and the research for my MA, gives a particular enthusiasm for exploring leadership and its impact upon change within the church.

How to get in touch with me

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