Joanne is from England. She studied for the Bachelor of Theology for Ministry (BTh).
I was born in Manchester in 1960. I studied at Art School for four years, worked in a children’s home for two, got married and raised four children. I also worked with people with mental health issues and special needs.
After an Access to Humanities course, I decided to do an English Literature degree. But then I visited the Margaret Beaufort Institute; it grew on me and so I read for the BTh. I loved being part of the Theological Federation.
We still had three children at home; living in and going home at weekends to a husband who worked and kept the family going was a challenge for us. And just because Margaret Beaufort is a Christian environment doesn’t mean it’s a doddle. We can irritate or hurt each other. It certainly prepared me for the challenge of prison chaplaincy!
But I’ve learnt that living in community means trying to see the best in people. Understanding difference. Having an opinion and respecting others. All of this was done in an atmosphere of prayer and rigorous study.
I’ve made some lasting friendships. I learned confidence, but wasn't aware of that until I worked in the prison where I’ve been for almost five years. Academically, it’s good to have theology and social context and hermeneutics under your belt where I work; I get asked some interesting things. And I have the best job!