Revd Margaret Hayward was ordained by the Bishop of Bath & Wells in a packed Wells Cathedral service on Sunday (June 30th) alongside a dozen others.
Margaret has a unique shared role between St Andrew’s Church in Burnham and also working at Weston Hospice as a Chaplain.
Margaret joins the Vicar, Preb. Graham Witts, and Revd. Sharon Eldergill as Associate Vicar at St Andrew’s Church in the leadership of the church.
Margaret says: “I was a religious sister for about ten years in Northampton with an order called Daughters of the Holy Spirit. At seventeen I felt the call of God. I’d describe it as an almost burning within me. I felt this pull to dedicate my life in some way to God.”
During that time Margaret worked as a nurse and midwife, ran a hostel for the homeless and worked with people learning to speak English.
Over time she felt she was being called to something else, but wasn’t quite sure what that ‘else’ was.
“As I kind of grew up in that if you like, I almost felt God was calling me on and I didn’t know what to and I just knew that wasn’t the place I was meant to be. It’s very strange how God communicates with me in my life. So I left the order.”
Margret returned home to Weston to nurse her mother who was terminally ill. Over time Margaret married and had a daughter, whilst she says she continued to be unsure of what God wanted her to do next.
Alongside her work with St Andrew’s, Margaret will also be part of the chaplaincy team at Weston Hospice Care.
Margaret has been a chaplain for ten years. For five of those she was custody chaplain at Weston Police’s custody suite and she’s also worked at Weston Hospice Care for the past five years. Margaret is delighted to be able to continue in this role.
“I think God is calling me there to work somewhere in the area of dementia because I feel very strongly that the church can speak to, and can offer those who are living with dementia and their carers some kind of Christian presence. It’s an area of our society which needs hope and help.”
The vicar of Burnham, Graham Witts, adds: “This is an exciting time for us all as Margaret learns about public ministry in our wonderful town. I know you will all welcome her as you have done so for previous curates. A curate is like an apprentice.”
Pictured, top: Rev’d Sharon Eldergill, associate Vicar of Burnham, Revd Margaret Hayward – Curate, the Vicar of Burnham, and Revd Karen Murphy who is Chaplain to Weston Hospice