Rev’d Paul Smith Profile

Rev'd Paul SmithAlthough Paul was born in Newcastle on Tyne (1959) and baptised in a Methodist church, he grew up in South India, where his parents served as Methodist Missionaries in the Church of South India. He was confirmed ecumenically (Anglican, Methodist, URC) and then returned to UK to complete his schooling. He studied English and Philosophy at Birmingham University and then trained for the Anglican ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He was ordained in Birmingham cathedral in 1985 and has served in parishes in Birmingham, London, Bletchley and Farnham, Surrey.

Paul married first in 1986 to Fiona and they had a son, Rob, in 1993. Fiona died unexpectedly after a short illness in 1994. Her memorial window can be seen in the cloisters at Christ the Cornerstone, MK City Centre. Subsequently Paul met Jeanette locally in Milton Keynes and they married in 1996. Jeanette had been widowed herself at an early age and had three of her own sons. David, James and Andrew are all in their 30’s now and married with their own families. Paul and Jeanette have 7 grandchildren to date (2015). They came to Stantonbury team in 2002 and live at the vicarage in Willen. Jeanette works at Willen Hospice.

walker

In 2006 Paul had sabbatical leave during which he went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, N. Spain. Since then he has been in pilgrimage twice, both times of different parts of the Camino. He also took up further theological reading which led to him taking an MA in Christianity and Interreligious Relations at Heythrop College, London. He is now studying at King’s College London, part-time, doing a professional doctorate which he hopes to complete in 2016-17. His research is about interfaith marriage.

He is interested in interfaith issues generally and the place of Christianity in a pluralist society. He is a school Governor, something which he done for most of his ministry. He is chair of Milton Keynes SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education). He is involved with the Milton-Keynes Leipzig Link. He speaks German fluently.

He enjoys family life, gardening, walking, classical music, jazz and some forms of rock music, eating curries and travelling abroad for holidays as well as going to the theatre. Apart from reading theology, he enjoys international fiction including authors such as Alexander McCall Smith, Joanna Trollope, Khaled Hosseini, Farahad Zama, Elif Shafak, Orhan Pamuk and Paulo Coelho.