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Debbie Nouwen


Rev Debbie Nouwen


Anglican Assistant Curate


 Church of the Epiphany (Gipton) and Oakwood Church


I am a proud Yorkshire lass born and bred. I love the great outdoors and adventures of all kind. Prior to being ordained, I lived on a canal boat for nearly 12 years with my four-legged buddy. Prior to being ordained I was the National Waterways Chaplain for the North of England and the Midlands, and before that, I spent 20 years working within the social care sector


My life’s journey has had many twists-and-turns and there really is no one more surprised to be wearing a dog collar then me!  I am still a wandering nomad at heart and at times continue to think I can still out run God, but then look where that got me!  I don’t see faith as something neatly packaged, instead I have found that doubt and uncertainty has been a vital part of my Christian journey thus-far


I tend to meet God more in the muck and mess of life, rather than through stain-glass windows. I get seriously hacked-off with the notion that people who come to church have got it all sorted, which we don’t. In the words of Nadia Bolz-Weber “Never once did Jesus scan the room for the best example of holy living and send that person out to tell others about him. He always sent stumblers and sinners”, which I find really comforting


I also understand why so many people steer clear of Christianity and the church in general. But here is what I have come to understand for me, there really is no darkness, and no shame that will ever prevent the love of Jesus from embracing us. Or as Cardinal Basil Hume once said, "divine judgement is whispering into the ear of a merciful and compassionate God the story of our lives which we have never been able to tell, and yet find that we are still held and embraced by a love that will never let us go."



20 February 2020