Charlotte Osborn entitled her talk My journey to Ordination, with the subtitle From Pew to Pulpit. She suggested that we consider each of our decades, i.e. until we reach the three-score-years-and-ten, as days of the week. Sunday would be the first decade, 0-10 years, Monday 10-20 years, Tuesday 20-30 years, and so on.
Since childhood, Charlotte has been aware of how God can work in people’s lives, not least in her own. Her grandmother was a woman of great faith. Her mother was involved with the local church, and while she attended to the flower arrangements there, Charlotte and her brother would play in the pulpit. The Head Teacher of her Grammar school was a committed Christian and she, together with the PE teacher, had a great influence on Charlotte’s teenage years.
Charlotte was confirmed into the Church of England when she was twelve, and joined a lively Fifteen to Twenty Five group, at another nearby church. At seventeen, during a trip on a schooner training ship (the Winston Churchill), sailing around the Channel Islands, and the North Coast of France, she went in to an island church, and committed her life to Christ.
At Birmingham University, Charlotte read Latin and PE. Words from the Book of Proverbs became very real to her during this time, viz. chapter 3, verses 5 and 6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” She volunteered to join the summer season work with the CSSM among children.
In 1977, Charlotte married Leo, who served in the ministry of the Methodist Church. They had the insides of their wedding rings inscribed with the words from St Luke chapter 24 ‘Jesus himself drew near, and went with them’. They settled in Swanwick, and Charlotte taught in Foremarke Hall Preparatory School. After that they moved to Seedfield. Life was becoming very full for the Osboms. Charlotte led groups of young people, and enjoyed playing mixed hockey, which can’t have been for the faint hearted. At this time, the Vicar in Cheadle (the neighbouring village) was one Donald Allister.
When Charlotte entered her ‘Thursday Decade’, there came a call to go to the north east of the country, to Cullercoats. Here, Charlotte managed a production of the Gospel story called Jubilate. They travelled with this as a roadshow for a month.
House Groups have always been part of Charlotte’s output. Her groups followed the Alpha programmes. She also continued with her youth groups, e.g. Share Jesus, Tyneside Youth for Christ, Why Friday?, and the mid week Rock Solid clubs.
During this decade, Charlotte became involved in the selection process, for the Methodist Church, and Leo moved from being a Circuit Minister, to become Chair of the District of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Sunderland and Brampton.
When she reached her ‘Friday Decade’, Charlotte became aware that Newcastle Airport needed administrative help in its Chaplaincy. The airport was seven miles from where she and Leo lived. She was strongly convinced that she should work in that airport, and she became Lay Chaplain. She also became lay chair of the Methodist Church Selection Committee, and Leo became President of the Methodist Conference.
At this time, Charlotte undertook training at Durham, exploring ‘Spiritual Direction’. She also joined the team of Street Pastors in Newcastle, becoming a trustee of that association. Significantly, during this ‘Decade’, Charlotte worshipped at the Church of St James and St Basil… back to the Church of England. Along the way, she also gained a Master’s Degree in Theology. Charlotte was now seriously considering ordination.
At All Saints in Oakham we welcome Charlotte as Curate. Leo will serve in Oakham Methodist Church during her time with us.
We extend good wishes to both of them.