Chris Bradish was ordained deacon in Winchester Cathedral on Sunday 3 July and will start his ministry at the Resurrection, Alton, in Hampshire.
Mr Bradish, who is 31, was a corporate lawyer in the City who decided to give it all up to follow his father into the ministry. “There was no Damascus moment,” he said, “but there were plenty of mornings sat on the floors of trains into Waterloo, where I had the opportunity to hone my sense of calling. A lot of formation happened outside toilets, going into work at ten past six in the morning.
“I wasn’t disenchanted with my job: I was actually enjoying it; but I have always had a sense that my life might lead to this, and it is something that has emerged organically since I was a teenager. It is a major change of direction, but when you get to college you realise just how much everybody else has given up to be there.”
He had worked for five years for FTSE 100 companies when he came to his decision. “I was growing into my career when I left, but was sparked by a sense of being called by God to do it. My role was to help some large corporate companies through some really difficult situations. But, at the heart, it was a problem-solving role, and so all those skills around strategy, managing change, and helping organisations cope are all things I can now bring into my job. I am delighted that I can do something much more constructive with people.”
Mr Bradish and his wife, Naomi, a social worker, have two children, Peter, three, and Juliette, 18 months. They are well aware that he faces a huge drop in income. “Fortunately, I am married to somebody who doesn’t put huge amounts of worth in physical possessions,” he said. “It is a huge change in lifestyle in a material sense, but we are loving having other riches. We were incredibly time-poor; now we get to see loads of each other, which we love.”