Working in a Strange Land

Working in a Strange Land

Dear <<First Name>>

I hope you found the last week’s worth of reflections on the NHS values useful and stimulating.  The NHS has, since its inception, owed a huge debt of gratitude to people who came to the UK to work within it – the anniversary of the Windrush generation is just a few weeks before the NHS’ foundation after all.  This week we’re going to look at a series of reflections written by six ministers who have come to work in the URC from overseas on Certificates of Eligibility who explore the different contexts in Britain that they now work in. 

The Rev’d Sujeeth Kumar was ordained in the Church of South India – Karnataka Central Diocese, Bangalore, India, He served in various capacities within and outside the Diocese both in rural and urban churches for 21 years. He is married to Sucharita, a homemaker.  Now Sujeeth works for us in the East London Area Group of the Thames North Synod.  

The Rev’d Ryan Sirmons is a former American naval officer who discerned a call to ministry while living in the UK.  After training at Westminster College, Cambridge, he was ordained in the United Church of Christ and served as pastor of The United Church of Christ of Annapolis in Maryland for eight years.  He now serves in Newcastle. 

The Rev’d Ruth Armstrong moved to the UK in July 2022 from Johannesburg, South Africa, after serving in the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa for 20 years. Wife to Warren, mother to 3 teenagers – Lia, Sarah and Noah – and 1 fur child, Queen the Scottie, avid crocheter and fair-weather runner! 

The Rev’d Margaret Nilanjana Ali is currently ministering to two churches – Islington URC and Rectory Road URC in South Lea Valley Area Group of Thames North Synod. She was ordained in the Diocese of Calcutta, Church of North India and served there as a minister for six years. Married to the Rev’d Prakash Thankachan, who works for the Church of England, and has a six year old daughter, Irene Nyssa Margaret.  It’s going to be a year now since they came to the UK and joined the URC; for which they praise God. 

The Rev’d Kurauone Mutimwii was ordained into the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and worked at Masvingo Presbyterian Church in Zimbabwe for 10 years before coming to the UK to work with the Greater Manchester South and Cheshire Missional Partnership in the North Western Synod.   He is married to Nancy  and with three Children Tanaka, Blessed and Courage.

The Rev’d Terry Jin was educated and ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Korea in 2001.  He joined the URC in 2019 and is the minister of Bexhill United Reformed Church in East Sussex.

Our ministers bring a variety of gifts and perspectives to the URC and, over the next week we will see some of these – some thoughts they bring will be very challenging and I hope they inspire some thoughtful reflection as we read them.

With every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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