Revd Ed Olsworth-Peter is Director of Innovation and Development
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in London and grew up in Sussex. I’ve lived in a variety of places but have found I’m most at home in rural village life. I’m married to Lisa and we have 3 children, including twins! I was ordained in 2004 and have done an eclectic mix of different roles over the years, but all of them have had a creative focus and a remit to think outside of the box. Before coming to St Mellitus I was the National Adviser for Pioneer Ministry for the Church of England. In my spare time, I like to swim (including outdoors), visit art galleries and watch a good box set.
What is your faith story?
I come from a Christian family and have always had a belief in God. This become real and personal during my gap year in 1996 and 1997 when I took part in and led a number of STEP (Short Term Experience Project) teams to South America with Latin Link. The faith of the local Christians we worked alongside was so infectious that it had a big impact on my life. I come from a long line of clergy and so this has also informed both my faith and my vocation. I find I meet God in creation and whilst out walking.
Why St Mellitus College?
I really like working for St Mellitus as it is a community that is prayerful, generous and committed to doing what it does to the best of its ability. It’s one of the best places I have worked and I really value the gifts and imagination of those I work alongside. Being offered a job with the word ‘innovation’ in the title was something I couldn’t say no to!
What are you hoping and expectant for in your role?
I love to have new ideas and to think about things from a different perspective so to be Director of Innovation is a role that I am excited about. I’m interested to see how as a college we can respond to the formational needs of future church leaders in a post-Christendom, post-post modern, post-pandemic world. By its nature, this is a role that unfolds over time in response to culture, context and where God might be leading us.
What are you passionate about?
I am interested in missional ecclesiology and new forms of church as well as how culture and context inform our mission and worship. I oversee ‘The Forge’ at the London Centre which is our formation programme for ordinands. I am passionate about how we shape leaders for the present and future church and I gain a great deal of satisfaction in helping others to develop their own unique calling. I am also passionate about discernment which is something that grows throughout our lives and I enjoy helping our students to discover more about how God is calling them to serve him.
What would you say to someone considering studying theology or exploring their vocation?
I think the best advice I would give to someone thinking about exploring their vocation is to be open to God’s calling. Someone wise told me to look out for the ways God is pushing you away from your current stage of life and where he is pulling you towards the next. In my experience both go hand in hand. For me studying theology allows us to explore the depths of who God is, to think more about the world around us and to grow in our own faith and spirituality.
And finally, for something unexpected…
And finally…I was on Blue Peter as a child. We filmed on location at the Imperial War Museum and were dressed up as children from the London Blitz. The section started in black and white then moved to colour and the presenter said ‘Well it's not 1939 but 1989..’ (this shows my age!). I was given a Blue Peter badge which I kept for ages but then lost it!!