Paul Arnold

Curate

Position within the Church: Curate

How long have you been a Christian? All my life but with a short blip from 1998-2000.

How and why did you become a Christian? I was brought up in a Christian household and was a good Christian boy until I hit teenage years and began to lead a kind of double life. I still believed but wanted to have ‘fun.’ I remember going on mission to Uganda at 16 and leading a red cross worker with us to Christ. Yet, when I went to Uni in Wales the next year, I walked away from the church in order to ‘have a good time.’ I soon lost all my money, and was in danger of dropping out.

Then I met my now wife, Liz. I found out that she went to church, and I started going again, initially in order to keep seeing her, but I found the sense of love and welcome so profound. I remember one day the preacher was talking about the Parable of the Prodigal Son and I heard a voice say ‘Welcome home’ I turned around, but there was no-one there. I spent the next few years coming to terms with how God could still love me despite all that I had done to wrong him.

But it is this faithfulness of God despite my unfaithfulness that astounds me every time. And when I put that faithfulness of God alongside Jesus’ death on the Cross. I can’t help but worship, particularly when I know that out of that death came such abundant life in his glorious resurrection.

What are your hobbies and interests? I love playing music (guitar and sing), watching rugby, I have just taken up golf and enjoy cycling and walking. I really enjoy cooking and trying new and interesting food. I am a huge fan of board games and can often be found convincing my wife to play Pandemic with me.

Do you have any family who attend church? I am married to Liz who will be joining me at All Saints’. We have three children (also coming): Evie (8), Bea (4) and Toby (2).

What are your aspirations for All Saints’ Church? My role here is to listen and learn, to go out to the edges and see where God is working. I hope that I can really spend time listening and learning with all of you. Walking with you to the edges and seeking out the lost as we grow as a church. I hope to encourage gifts and soak up some of the missionary DNA of this place so that we are in a good place to identify and resource a team that will bring new life to Stockton by planting into St Paul’s Newtown.

Finally, what has been the best advice/guidance that somebody has given you as a Christian? There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more than he already does, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less.