THE P RTAL July 2018 Page 12 Down by the mill Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane meet Fr Simon and Sarah Beveridge W hilst we were in Scotland, we made our way through Galloway, along a country lane, then on to a farm track until finally we arrived at the Caravan. It is set beside a mill stream. The mill was derelict, but now in the process of being turned into a beautiful house. All in all, it is a lovely spot. Fr Simon Beveridge, with assistance from family members is doing the conversion himself. We had come to see Fr Simon Beveridge and his wife Sarah. He is one of the newly ordained Ordinariate priests serving in Scotland. While Fr Simon was away in Sierra Leone, she was at home with two young children. They were married while Fr Simon was at Chichester Theological College. After a tour of the area, two fields go with the mill(!), Fr Simon told us that he comes from Devon. Born there in 1961 and educated locally. He was ordained in the CofE Diocese of Exeter in mid to late 80s. They are the parents of a girl and a boy. Felicity is the oldest and then Freddie came along. They are both grown up now. The life of a Naval Chaplain is one of coming and going. This brings He served his curacy in North Fr Simon and Sarah Beveridge after his challenges for the Chaplain and his Devon then after three years he was Ordination to the Priesthood last December wife and family. a Team Vicar in the North Creedy Ministry in mid Devon. It was there he decided to join the Navy as a Sarah told us that at the beginning when they lived in Chaplain. He served twenty three years in the Royal the married quarter, there were plenty of other wives Navy. around. But, when Fr Simon was posted they decided they didn’t want to uproot, so they bought their own He told us, “My original intention was to be Chaplain house in Devon. Sarah and the children could stay put to the Royal Marines. It was explained to me that the providing a continuity with their education. Fr Simon Royal Marines were part of the Royal Navy and they travelled, and came home at weekends and whenever. provide the Chaplains to serve the Royal Marine They think it was a good decision. The children grew Corps. So I joined the Navy and went straight the up in a stable atmosphere. Felicity had been born in Commando Training Centre and got my green beret. 1988 and Freddie in 1990. My first appointment was with the Royal Marines and my career unfolded from there. Travelling the world with the Navy is exciting, but did Fr Simon plan life beyond the Navy? “I went to the Commando Logistic Regiment, Royal Marines, then to The Fleet Air Arm. I served in “I always look for a challenge in life. I’ve always been Plymouth and went out to Sierra Leone on operational able to accept that life changes. I might not always tours there a couple of times. In Sierra Leone we were like the changes that come, but when they do I always in support of the UN mission which wasn’t doing so find a way through. This is something I find fulfilling. well. Our support helped to stabilised things. But it Behind all that is a sense of knowing I have a purpose took a while. and I’m in that process of trying to be obedient to it and discern it as I go along. You don’t know what life “I was deployed at the time on HMS Ocean. We is going to throw at you, but you can respond and I arrived off the coast of Sierra Leone and in a week or responded. Joining the navy was a response at the time so we were a shore. The Paratroopers had already gone to the thought that here I am at the age of 29, I’m a Team in and things settled down rather quickly. Robin Cook Vicar at a large rural ministry. I thought is this going came down and lots of other people, John Prescott and to be it? I felt I wanted something more and decided Kate Adie amongst them.” the chaplaincies could offer me that excitement and difference I was looking for. Obviously after staying 23 We wondered where Sarah came in the picture? years it suited me.