St Clement's Church
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Rev. Bryan Corke · Associate Priest
Joshua 24 vs 15b “As for me and my household, we will serve the lord”
The text above has been an important Christian maxim for me, for some 37 years. At that time Rose consented to marry me and form our own new household, after a courtship of 8 years. We worshipped at St. Peter's Stretford then, and were involved mainly in fundraising and maintenance activities. I served as assistant youth leader and subsequently joint leader of a very successful youth club, for a number of years. During that time I was licensed as a reader in May 1986. We were the young ones then and I suppose we still feel that way a little, especially as we are the new ones now at St. Clements (but quite obviously, speaking only for myself, not so young anymore!).
I think we are all called to witness to Christ's love for us and His plans for our lives, so am always looking for ways to live out that witness. As a family we moved to St. John's Flixton 26 years ago, and it was there that I was called to train for ordination. I was priested in 1996 and last year I was delighted to receive an invitation to join you all here at St. Clements as your NSM/associate priest, and to work in partnership with your wonderful priest in charge, Cath. It is exciting to know that our Lord can use us in so many diverse situations and experiences. Even my passion for ancient history, particularly Roman, has aided in providing a visual impact for preaching and teaching. Perhaps next Easter, I may be able to demonstrate that with my good friend David Cosham, who is known to some of you.
Our three children, Rhys, Lewys and his wife Jenna and Rhianwyn, continue to help Rose and I in ministry and witness (sometimes reluctantly, but help should always be appreciated before it is judged I feel!). This helps to keep our family to the spirit of Joshua 24 vs 15.
At present I work three days a week as a Clinical Specialist in Prosthetics and Orthotics, at Withington Hospital. For over 40 years this has been a richly rewarding career, and I have felt the Lords hand many times within that work, as is often the case for all of us who work in the caring profession. I have been blessed by working for and with so many inspirational patients and staff, and perhaps I should write a book about them for their stories would inspire multitudes.
I also serve as a chaplain/squadron padre for our local Air Training Corps, and until recently also for the detached flight at Partington. This has given me a wonderful opportunity to offer support and care to so many young people. It is hard to express the joy one feels when explaining to teenagers how precious they are in God's eyes and how and why He loves them so much. We all need to be loved but don't always accept how lovable we truly are to our Heavenly Father. That knowledge gives us strength, and I have seen many young people benefit from belief in this magnificent truth.
I hope by the end of next year, to be able to give more time to St. Clements, and beg your patience and understanding until then. If the marvellous kindness and generosity you have so far bestowed upon my little family (and special thanks for the delicious and decorative Bible cake!) is anything to judge by, I believe you have welcomed us into a loving, caring, giving, vital and iconic Church family. A Church full of more wonderful Brothers and Sisters in Christ than any man could wish for. Thank you again for your kindness and warmth in letting us Corke's join you in another household that loves and serves our Lord.