“God will create that role for you, and give you the ministry that he has called you to do.” Rev Dr Liam Jerrold Fraser
Published on 18 June, 2018
In the latest of our My Ministry blog series, we meet Rev Dr Liam Jerrold Fraser, Pioneer Minister at the University of Edinburgh.
Rev Dr Liam Jerrold Fraser
Current parish church & location
Pioneer Minister at the University of Edinburgh
Studied at which Church of Scotland College?
New College, University of Edinburgh
When qualified as an Ordained Minister?
How you were called to serve God?
Growing up, I had very little interest in Church, and left as soon as I was allowed to. Around the age of 20, however, I came to faith, and began studying Divinity. My call came three years later, when God spoke to me through scripture and through family and friends, and called me to preach.
While I knew I was called to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, I knew that Parish Ministry and Chaplaincy – at least at this point in my life – was not for me, and I worried about the future. Then the Church of Scotland began to establish Pioneer Ministry, and I found a position that was right for me!
Briefly describe your parish church and the community it serves.
I head up Edinburgh University Campus Ministry (EUCAM), which is the Church of Scotland’s denominational ministry to the University. While our focus is obviously on serving students, the way we do that is by creating volunteering opportunities in the community, and by bringing students and locals together through Holy Cross Edinburgh, our worshipping community.
What is it about your role you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my role is seeing folk develop in their faith, and come to realise that it’s only in Christ that they will see true transformation of themselves and their communities.
And most challenging?
There have been two challenging elements to my ministry. The first has been the indifference or even outright hostility of some Christians to what we are doing. The second has been an initial lack of financial structures, which left me worrying, at times, about whether I would be able to provide for my family.
What skills have you brought into your role?
I don’t think I bring much to ministry that hasn’t been given to me by God in the course of my training. If I bring anything, however, then it may be knowledge of the theology of our Church, an understanding of contemporary culture, and some skill in determining what we must change and what we must hold fast to and protect.
And what skills have you learned in the role?
The main skill I have learned in my role is the ability to repeatedly fail, and not let that failure destroy me.
So far, what’s been the highlight of your career as a Church of Scotland minister?
The most rewarding part of my ministry has been helping to establish our new worshiping community Holy Cross Edinburgh, along with its associated community gardening project Holyrood Harvest.
What do you do to relax?
Having a full-time ministry and a young family means I don’t have much time to relax. If I do have some time, however, I like to walk, read, write, visit new places, and spend time with friends.
What’s your message to those considering applying and training for a life in Ministry?
The only real freedom you will know in life is service to Christ, to other people, and to the Church.
Talk to God in prayer. Talk to family and friends. Talk to Church leaders. Then – if you still feel that you’re called to service – go to a discernment conference. If you get there and – like me – start to worry that there isn’t a ministry for you in the Church, then don’t worry.
God will create that role for you, and give you the ministry that he has called you to do. Believe that God is greater than your ability, your faith, and what seems possible at any given time, and you will do just fine.