Following a career as a solicitor and having journeyed through grief following the death of two of their children, Nick Shutt responded to God’s call to ordination and is now Rector of the West Dartmoor Mission Community.
Nick and his wife Corinne were left devastated over their loss and they realised that there are no easy answers where suffering is concerned.
He said: “In the midst of our grief we found it hard to cope with those who seemed to want to turn our tragedy into something good. I learned that faith is sometimes a matter of gritting your teeth and echoing the man in the Gospel who shouted ‘I believe, forgive my unbelief’.”
Nick had been involved in church youth work for many years and following conversations with his then rector decided to explore the path to ordained ministry. What became clear to Nick in the process is his belief in self-supporting ministry.
He said: “I am a passionate believer in self-supporting ministry and I continued with my legal career.”
Only later, following retirement from law, did Nick become a full-time minister (still unpaid) in the Yelverton Team Ministry and although taking on a challenging role is positive about the experience. He said: “It has been a bumpy road…. but on the whole it has been an amazing journey.”
He adds: “I love the image of us being pilgrims who journey with purpose. It is very fitting for a place like Dartmoor which is littered with wayside crosses and ancient trackways previously used by pilgrims.” And it is Nick’s vision of us as God’s people that he finishes with: “Our God-given lives are precious and it would be good to see more people embrace the fact that Christ came so that we might enjoy abundant life.”