Paul Wintle

Paul Wintle Chaplain West SheppeyI’m thoroughly looking forward to my new role working with the West Sheppey Benefice and Oasis Academy, Isle of Sheppey! As a trained careers adviser, long-term volunteer church youth leader, and with a master’s degree in community partnership work, the role of Chaplain (3 days at Oasis, 2 with West Sheppey) seemed the natural next step for me, having spent 15 years working in schools. I was made redundant in summer 2013 which forced me to consider a career change and have been utterly blessed by God’s provision of work during the last year or so. During this time, I knew many people were praying for me to remain local (I’m Medway born and bred) and that God would open the right doors in His time. I was convinced that this meant a move north – how wrong could I be!

Chaplain positions do not come up very often (particularly for those of us who are not ordained), so when I was called for interview, I knew this role would excite me! Taking a drive on to The Isle of Sheppey a few days before interview, I had a strong sense that I really wanted the job! The sense of unity, strong school leadership and friendliness of those involved in the selection process helped confirm that this was God’s call to school and community chaplaincy as it would use my skills, knowledge, qualifications and training! Each time I drive on to the Island, a big smile appears on my face and I feel that it’s the place for me to be working right now.

I have received a really warm welcome from Rev Tim Hall (Priest in Charge) and his lovely family, and look forward to building some positive relationships in the community, at the Oasis Academy, with local primary schools and beyond! I really do think this role is tailor-made and I look forward to seeing what God will do in West Sheppey, whilst coveting the prayers of the Church as, together, we develop this brand new role.

It’s a true honour to be able to be the first person at Oasis Academy IoS to offer spiritual guidance, and it is my desire to journey with students and staff, helping them to consider the big questions in life and, where appropriate, leading them into a friendship with Jesus.