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‘God is the heart’

Jackie Macadam describes the life of the Rev Dr Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London and learns about the church’s work with those on the margins and the ecumenical HeartEdge movement.

THE Rev Dr Sam Wells is fondly reminisicing about his time in Edinburgh.

“New College was a wonderful experience. I had a good liturgically formed grounding at Coates Hall, and at New College I found teachers who were genuinely interested in their students and subjects that I believed really mattered and a group of people my own age (mid-twenties) who’d all seen a bit of life and had returned to study in a diff erent frame of mind,” he says.

“They were three great years and I was blessed by teachers like Duncan Forrester and John O’Neill, Bruce McCormack and Kevin Vanhoozer. I found my intellectual sweet spot in a way I’d never done in Oxford, and after ordination in Newcastle I continued studying for a PhD part-time in Durham. For my professional life, going to Edinburgh was probably the most significant thing I ever did.”

Reflecting on his early life, he explains: “My father was third-generation ordained in the Church of England. He went to Oxford and interrupted his studies to serve in the Middle East, Africa and Italy in WW2.

“It was a family that knew a lot of tragedy – two of his siblings died when their children were very young,” Sam says. “My mother’s parents were Jews from Kiev who converted to Christianity as teenagers and left Soviet Ukraine in the twenties. My mother was born in Berlin in 1930 and the whole family were refugees to England in 1938. She had a good deal of tragedy too, losing two children at birth and dying relatively young when I was 18. I was born in Canada while my parents were spending a year there recovering from the grief of their double bereavement.

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE BIBLICAL ANIMALS - The Palm Sunday donkey and the animals of the bible ‘ALL WE NEED TO KNOW’ - Journey through Holy Week with the Moderator ‘ GOD IS THE HEART’ - The work of the Rev Dr Sam Wells and much more ....