ANDREW RACE grew up in Southern Africa, in Botswana and
Zimbabwe, where his forebears had been "servants of Empire" for
several generations. Whereas most of them had been in the military,
or commerce, Andrew's own father was a clergyman, and he grew up in
a family of faith "since as far back as I can remember".
The family returned to the UK when Andrew was 18. After
university, he went into business, and subsequently set up his own
marketing company. Now he is in his final year of training for the
priesthood at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.
The suggestion of a vocation emerged "from a number of voices,
from a number of different directions - through the Church, from
friends at New Wine and elsewhere, and from business
As a son of the vicarage, Andrew was "very familiar with the
inside story of church life; so I certainly wasn't going into it
with my eyes closed."
Even so, his first steps were tentative, not least because of
the upheaval it would involve for his family. Andrew's wife works
full-time, and is supporting the family while he is at college. To
enable her to remain in her job, and to avoid disrupting their
children's education, Andrew is a weekly boarder, dividing his time
between college outside Oxford and their home in Derbyshire.
Unsurprisingly, the transition from two salaries to one means
that the budget is tight: "Absolutely every penny is accounted
for." Andrew is entirely dependent on his car, clocking up more
than 350 miles each week to get to and from college, including a
40-mile round trip to a parish placement in the diocese on Sundays.
When the car unexpectedly needed serious repairs, they made an
application to the TAP Special Hardship Fund. "Thank goodness it
was there. It made all the difference."
In July, Andrew will be ordained to a curacy in Littleover, in
his home diocese. This time, the whole family will move; it will
mean a reverse commute for his wife and children, but they will all
be living under one roof again.
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
in the newspaper.
SPREAD THE WORD
PLEASE encourage other people to give to TAP, too. A colour
leaflet can be downloaded by clicking here (PDF, will open in new
window) , for photocopying and distribution. 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.