Clare splashing through a gorge in the Atacama Desert in 1994

I was born as an Anglican and went to church my whole life.  As a student I encountered Evangelicals and the Charismatic Movement.  I then converted to Catholicism and went to live in Catholic countries where I went to the parish church which was Catholic.  Finally, I came back to England and reengaged with Anglicans Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical and Cathedral Anglicans.  After this I returned to a Catholic parish. 

During lockdown I started listening to Christian radio and Evangelical pastors preaching.  I then met Community Church Christians online and shared with them in a small group on zoom.  I did the Alpha course online while still being a Catholic and going to mass online or in real life.  The journey continues.

I actually like all the different churches.  In many ways I like them for being different in styles of worship and I find there’s nothing like a change to reenergize faith.

I am clear that I want to share with other Christians who have chosen Jesus Christ as ‘The Way’ and the path to follow.  I know from first-hand experience that these Christians come from all the different churches, as well as from different countries, cultures and ethnic groups.  What makes people ‘one’  is the Holy Spirit – the spirit of God given to all those who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour – that is to say their saviour is not politics, not their cultural identity, not food and not drink, not romance or attachment to a specific person, not their work, and not success or money, but the living God.

Personality-wise, I’ve always had a tendency to turn away from the liberal and towards the radical.  Over the years I’ve mellowed quite a lot, but the rebel in me can still spring out unexpectedly, especially if anyone tries to tell me what to do.

The good thing about a very complicated life is that I can see all sides to different arguments; after all, I’ve shared life with so many diverse people over the years. I’ve often been the go-between in fraught situations, for example, when I lived in a shanty town in Chile and there was a stand-off between middle class ‘respectable’ people and the shanty town poorer inhabitants, I passed on the messages in negotiations .  This was a class war, but I as a foreigner, could speak to both sides and move freely.  Often in other situations I again find myself in a similar position because I understand all the different points of view.

Qualifications: Clare Merry studied anthropology and sociology at Oxford Brookes University in England obtaining a BSc Honours degree in 1984. She went on to study sociology at Aix-en-Provence University in France obtaining a masters degree in 1990.

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