Talking Ministry: Loving a varied ministry career
Published on 15 February 2023 3 minutes read
Becoming a minister of the Church of Scotland was not a part of the plan for Rev Andrea Price.
Although it was her intention to become a minister, when Mrs Price arrived in Scotland to study in the early 1980s, she thought it would only be a brief interlude before returning home to Germany to complete her studies and begin her ministry career in her home church.
However, it was while she was studying in St Andrews that she met her future husband Neil, leading to a more permanent return to Scotland once her studies were completed.
Marriage and children put her ministry plans on hold, but in 1997, Mrs Price was finally licensed and ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament within the Church of Scotland, the start of a career which has taken her from a rural parish in Orkney to serving in London as part of the ministry team at St Columba's Kirk and more recently to her current charge, St Michael's Parish Church in Edinburgh.
For Mrs Price, that range of experiences is a key part of what makes Christian life and ministry so exciting.
"It is a most varied career if you enjoy change and creativity," she said.
Learning about community life
It might seem that the biggest of these changes was moving to London after a dozen years as a parish minister in Orkney.
However, coming from the urbanised Ruhr Valley, Mrs Price found moving to Orkney the greater challenge, but ultimately, a very rewarding one.
"A lot of people move to Orkney to try and get away from everything, but what they don't realise is that they bring everything with them, and if they can't deal with it they do not have the usual distractions," she said.
"You have to find different distractions and find ways of contributing because the difficulty of travelling means that everyone has to contribute.
"Orkney taught me about community life. It was a pleasure to live there."
Orkney also taught her about the positives which change can bring. Her first full-time charge was the recently united parish of Birsay, Harray and Sandwick which eventually built a new home, church and community facility, the Milestone Community Church.
"It was so nice to see people who had belonged to the Church all their lives saying how lovely it was to be part of something that was growing and new," Mrs Price said.
The joy of sharing faith
As someone who "can't recommend ministry as a profession highly enough", what advice does she have for potential ministers?
"Make sure that you don't lose the joy of your own faith and of sharing faith," Mrs Price said.
"That might mean at some point you might do something crazy or creative, but then life would be very boring if you didn't do something crazy once in a while!"
Each month the Talking Ministry series shares a personal story from those serving in Christian ministry, as well as discernment resources filled with questions, prayers and reflections to help encourage your own reflection on how God might be calling you.
You can read Rev Andrea Price's full interview and access the resources for February on our Talking Ministry page.