From Luxury Cars To A Life Of Ministry
Catherine Mitchell, 51, has swapped the glamorous world of luxury cars for a life serving God.
Prior to becoming a Deacon, she worked as an engineer for 25 years for Jaguar Cars, latterly Jaguar Land Rover working for most of her career within engineering departments, primarily looking after power train systems. She worked at two of the production sites, Browns Lane and Castle Bromwich, and latterly at the engineering centre at Gaydon.
She has now been appointed as Curate at St Bartholomew’s, Croxdale, St David’s Tudhoe and St John’s Kirk Merrington
She was born and bred in Coventry, where she lived until she started training at Cranmer Hall, in Durham.
Catherine said: “When I left school I started work at Dunlop in Coventry as a technical trainee, attended day release at the local technical college and studied in a similar way as the apprentices. I attained a HND at Coventry Technical College on a block release course.
“Soon after finishing the HND, I started to study for a degree in engineering part time at Coventry Polytechnic. After a year I joined Jaguar Car’s Limited, initially working of braking system design, moving after a few years to fuel system design. I started a postgraduate course in manufacturing systems part time at Coventry University, attaining a Post Graduate Diploma.
“My last job at Jaguar LandRover was analysing warranty data and implementing fixes for vehicles in service, across the vehicle brands.
“After the death of my parents, who died within five months of each other in 1997/98, I started exploring the meaning of life at an Alpha course which was run by the church in Coventry. I eventually joined. After a while I became more involved with the life of the church, playing drums in the worship band and latterly becoming a church warden and Discipleship group leader on the MLT.
“I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2006, which was a significant time in my personal faith journey, and returned believing that God was calling me to something but I did not know what.
“I did not feel called at the time to a specific ministry, but felt that I needed to increase my knowledge and decided to study for the Higher Certificate in Theology and Vocation, which was a distance learning course.
“I enjoyed the study very much, and as I was doing it the sense of calling from God was increasing and I started to be asked by various people whether I felt called to ministry. I tried to ignore it, but the sense of call to ministry within myself gained momentum.
“Leaving Coventry and starting to study at Cranmer Hall, after living in Coventry all my life was a big wrench.
in two years.
“The next biggest challenge was recognising that God was calling me to stay in the North East rather than to return to Coventry. It was a hard decision to stay but the sense of call was very strong.”