The Churchwardens

Bookmark and Share

Valma Child

I became a Churchwarden in April 2015, after only living in Helmsley for just under  2 years. It shows how popular the job is with any congregation!

I came with my husband, Mike, to North Yorkshire, from Lincolnshire, in retirement. We first lived in Whitby in what had been, for 16 years, our holiday home, before moving to Helmsley which we had always loved. We are keen walkers and so North Yorkshire has always been a wonderful area for us.

My working life was initially spent as a research biochemist in one of the teaching hospitals, in Sheffield, where I had been to university. After marriage and then the arrival of our two sons, I was invited (yes, invited---jobs were many in the 1970’s!) to do some part time lecturing with post graduate nurses. I was not at all sure that this would be for me, as I had never considered working in education. But I loved it and I hope my students did too.  The job grew and I became a full time science lecturer and ultimately moved across to training the lecturers. So much for never considering being an educationalist.

I first started to attend church services at the age of three, when my Grandmother took me by the hand on the quite long walk to our parish church. There was nothing special for the children except an attendance stamp in our record book. But I enjoyed the hynms and the ‘music’ of what became the so very familiar words of Morning Prayer and Holy Communion. I was fortunate in attending the village Church of England primary school, which our vicar visited each week to take a class. He was good fun, arriving on a bicycle and wearing a French beret.

 But my real guiding light, came in my twenties, in the form of Archdeacon Harvie-Clark, who was also the priest for our tiny parish. I had so much to sort out so that I could reconcile my scientific training with my understanding of Christian teaching. I don’t remember him giving me any of his views, but as the excellent mentor that he was, he let me talk my own way through the arguments to reach conclusions satisfying to me.

Work as Churchwarden is very busy, especially with the re-ordering we have embarked on.  I trust and pray, that with the support of my fellow Churchwarden, I can do justice to the post and responsibilities.


Anne Rutter