Richard Sandland is being ordained Deacon in Worcester Cathedral on 4 July and will serve in the parish of Bromsgrove, ten years after watching an extraordinary play – that would change his life.
Richard is shown in a walking jacket with mist on some country or mountain road clearly shown behind him

Before training for ordination, Richard worked as Music Operations Manager with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he watched a play in 2011 that completely changed the course of his life.

Richard explained: “In my previous job at the RSC, we did a play called Written on the Heart. 

"It was about the writing of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. In one scene, two men – Lancelot Andrewes and William Tyndale – debated translations of The Beatitudes. 

“As I sat, and watched, and listened, these words came alive for me. 

“Gradually, I realised that I had been wrong all my life about God.”

As a direct result, Richard bought a copy of the Bible and began to attend a church in Kidderminster. 

Richard was confirmed in 2015 and will be ordained Deacon this year, after training for ordination at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham from 2018. 

Richard describes his training experience as teaching him that “questions and debates are often more important than answers – and that doubts don’t deny one’s faith.”

Reflecting on his journey to ordination, Richard says: “God has drawn me on, step by step until I reached a place where I knew the call was right.”

“The cohort I trained alongside affirmed my Anglican faith within our differences and discussions. 

“I feel equipped to be sent out into the diversity of people that I will meet in my curacy.”

More information: 

  • Written on the Heart is play by the British playwright David Edgar, and encounters William Tyndale's and Lancelot Andrewes's involvement in biblical translation.
  • It was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011 to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible.
  • The Church of England's Vision and Strategy for the 2020s is helping us to be a Church which proclaims and lives out the Good News of Jesus Christ afresh in every generation.

Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/stories-and-features/words-came-alive-play-changed-richards-life-forever