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The Profile - Associate priest Jason Philips from Stafford

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 29, 2014

Jason Philips

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WHERE WERE YOU BORN? I was born in Lancashire but grew up mainly in Uttoxeter

WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD LIKE? A typical council estate childhood in Uttoxeter. I went to Thomas Alleyne’s High School and attended Uttoxeter Methodist Church. I used to catch the train weekly to go to the Boys’ Brigade in Barlaston on a special £1 return ticket called a Potters Ticket. I also used to cycle a lot as most of my friends lived in surrounding villages.

FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Visiting London when I was 10, especially the Crown Jewels and a boat ride on the Thames. I have loved London ever since and visit whenever I can.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? I delivered a free newspaper once a week, 165 papers and was paid £1.65! Then I worked at Amerton Farm bakery, before going into teaching.

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WHY TEACHING? I have always seen education as fundamental to a child’s life chances and to be involved in shaping a child’s future has always been the motivator.

I have been fortunate to be able to do this in urban and rural areas, as a class teacher, headteacher of two schools, teacher trainer and school inspector.

Some of my best memories have been of children excelling in the arts - plays, dance music festivals and singing.

WHY DID YOU THEN TAKE ON A PART-TIME ROLE AS A CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIEST? Priests can serve in many ways and upon ordination I had just been appointed to my second headship so it felt right to continue to undertake both roles for a time. I was priest for 10 villages on the edge of Stafford. The highlights are journeying with people through good times and bad and having the immense privilege to share in some of the most significant moments of people’s lives. I especially like weddings and at Sandon, Weston and Milwich in particular I was able to conduct many weddings which was a great joy.

WHAT MADE YOU SWITCH TO FULL-TIME MINISTRY? I had always intended to be a full-time parish priest. The opportunity arose this year to be interim priest at Stafford at the right time personally and so I decided to take up the position.

WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS/AMBITIONS? In church terms I am open to wherever God sends me to serve.

In personal terms, I’d like to spend a month in Bhutan, attend a service at a Lubvitcher Synagogue in New York, attend a jazz concert at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho and have tea and cake with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD? On a personal basis when I have made a positive difference to communities or individuals. As a British person I am proud of our Armed Forces.

AGE: 41

HOME: Stafford

FAMILY: Fifteen nephews and nieces and four godchildren

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