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Electronic Engineer, Chinese Translator, NGO volunteer and former director of Caritas for a diocese in England

It has been said that a sailor should never go near the engine room

I loved encouraging parishes to initiate social action projects for refugees, homeless night shelters, asylum seekers, holiday clubs etc. How great to see the faith of ordinary people shining through in reaching out to those most in need. But what about the Curial working environment?

In what should have been an exemplary employer I experienced what had to be the worst working environment of my life. Challenging the system found me being formally investigated. But I would not be silent and in facing yet another investigation I realised it was time to go. Why would God really wish me to continue in such a constrictive, mistrusting and hostile environment?

But during my 26 years in the charitable section in Taiwan, I had seen the other side. I saw a church supporting exploited migrant workers, overseas brides, the disabled, the aboriginals, those with HIV etc. It reminded me that what I experienced here “in the engine room” was not the full RC picture. So I cannot leave the Church but I refuse to be silently compliant in the face of hypocrisy, misogyny, abuse etc.

And what a gift to be a core member of Root & Branch! Here is a welcoming and safe home where that voice of the spirit inside me can express itself and keep alive the hope that one day OUR Church can truly be one that is inclusive and welcoming to all.