My name is Stuart Melchor and I currently hold the position of Curate at St Joseph the Worker, Northolt. I was brought up in Harlesden, North West London. My parents were part of the Windrush generation where Christianity was an integral part of life meaning that I was brought up in the Church. Typically as a teen and a young man I broke away at the earliest opportunity.
Following a series of life events, I returned to faith in Spring 2000. While at All Souls, Harlesden where I worshipped for a number of years, I took on the mentorship of a group of young people aged between 11- 19. What transpired from mentoring those young people was greater clarity of my purpose and ministry in the body of Christ. The education was simultaneous - as I taught, they taught me. A testament to the evolution of this group was that even after they had grown into young adults, they returned to share their experiences and mentor both their peers and new members. It was a humbling experience, and one that stays with me until this day. If I have changed but one life, as the hymn tells us, “my living shall not be in vain”.
My calling to ordained ministry was first identified at All Souls, where the leadership team noticed something in me that I had not seen in myself. For a number of varied reasons, the path to ordination and answer God’s call took 10 years. I like to think that my personality allows people to feel comfortable in my company. I feel that God has blessed me with the gift of meeting people where they are, and elevating and encouraging them onwards in their life journey.
For over thirty years I worked in warehousing and distribution, during which time I supervised and mentored people from all walks of life. Prior to being selected for ordination training, I was a Ministerial Development Review Consultant. While undertaking that role I was able to nurture both Clergy and Lay Ministers in their ministries.
My intention is clear. There are spirit-filled individuals all around us. Potential candidates for clergy or lay ministry are slipping through the net. The reasons for this tend to stem from feeling unworthy to the connotations of what public ministry involves. We live in diverse communities and the demographics of that mean that people come from all walks of life. The Church of England is tasked with better representation of those people on its rosters. In my capacity to increase the Kingdom of God, I consider myself a solid candidate for one of the mentoring posts on offer. By being a mentor I can help people to overcome the obstacles that come with serving God, as they may be able to identify with my journey.