BY THE time she was 13, Katie Lawrence had been to 13 different
schools. Her father was in the RAF; so the family travelled a lot.
Katie was born in Cyprus, but it was during a posting to England,
when she was ten, that the whole family (Katie has a sister) came
to faith at the same time. It was what Katie describes as "a time
of soul-searching": her uncle had been killed in the Falklands War,
and her mother's stepfather had recently died. They started
attending the Anglican church on the RAF base, and Katie attended a
summer children's camp.
Back in Cyprus, she took up ballet; at the age of 12, she came
to England to audition for ballet schools, and won not only a
place, but also a grant to fund her training. Boarding provided
stability; and she joined the school Christian Union. At the age of
14, she was babysitting for an American family who showed her a
video of a dance production organised by Youth With a Mission
(YWAM): "It was the first time I had seen Christians performing
professionally. It alerted me to the possibility of using dance and
my faith together."
Seven years later, via the same American family, she contacted
the director of the YWAM production and sent him her CV; by chance,
he was about to come to London, where he auditioned her.
Katie joined the company in time to embark on a 21-city tour of
the US, in a production based on the story of Jim Elliot, the
American missionary to South America who was murdered in Ecuador,
and Dayuma, the indigenous Auca woman who helped him, and whose
work eventually led to the conversion of her tribe.
The tour was to support the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators:
the proceeds from performances in each city funded the translation
of the Bible into a specific South American language.
It inspired Katie to wonder about joining Wycliffe Bible
Translators herself, and becoming a missionary; but, in the mean
time, she went on working in dance, spending a few years with a
Christian dance company, and becoming an animateur for the Rambert
Dance Company. When she married Matt, they moved to a small village
in Hampshire, and started attending the local church, "becoming
embedded in the local community". They now have three children.
Katie was particularly involved in building links between the
church and local community groups; it was in the course of one such
project that "God spoke to me whilst I was dancing in Winchester
cathedral; and again in Norwich."
The call to ordination is "about how I can make myself more
available"; and the contribution from the TAP Fund is "a massive
Katie has started her own performance group, which meets after
morning prayer on Fridays, and even has occasional evening use of
Durham Cathedral. She finds that dance "is a way of meeting a lot
of undergraduates without faith".
With no idea yet of where she will serve her curacy, but a
conviction that the relationship with her training incumbent is
more important than geography, Katie is "secretly hoping for a
combination of pioneer ministry with something more mainstream or
standard - enabling people to access Jesus in a different way.
HOW TO GIVE:
WE STILL take cheques, postal orders, cash, and charity cheques.
But many of our readers find that the simplest way to give is by
means of the online giving page: http://www.hymnsam.co.uk/train-a-priest.aspx
. This is a secure page, and so your donation can be given safely,
in just a few moments.
Please send other donations to our Norwich office: TAP Fund,
Church Times, 13a Hellesdon Park Road, Norwich NR6 5DR.
(If you would like an acknowledgement, please enclose a stamped
Gift Aid enables UK taxpayers to increase their donations to TAP
by an extra 25p in the £1, at no additional cost to themselves, by
making a simple declaration of eligibility. You can do this on our
online donations page, or, if sending a cheque, by using the form
from last week.
SPREAD THE WORD:
PLEASE encourage other people to give to TAP, too. A colour
leaflet can be downloaded from our website. If you or your church
is planning a special collection or fund-raising effort, please let
us know, so that we can mention it in the paper.