Sweetness and Light

Reflections on rural living and faith


My name is Beth. I worked for the Methodist Church in Britain but retired due to ill health in Autumn 2018. I have Lupus, an autoimmune disease that makes me tired, achy, feverish, and not very good at thinking straight.

I began working as an ordained minister for the church in Britain after a career as a Registered Nurse in the USA. I specialised in maternal-infant care and along with bedside nursing, I taught classes on sibling preparation, breastfeeding, and newborn care. I spent the last 5 years of my nursing career as a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, working exclusively with mums and babies who were struggling to breastfeed.

I began to feel a pull towards ministry when I had been attending a church for a few years. I didn’t go to church as a child, but started in my mid-twenties. What I learned about God and the Christian faith helped me to understand that I – that everyone, actually – have a unique role to play in making this world a better place.

While I was able to make life better for some as a nurse, I became aware that there was a much bigger world out there for me to engage with. So I left nursing and began a course of Theological study and discernment. This led to my ordination as a minister.

I have led churches in rural and small town settings, preparing and leading worship services and bible studies, visiting people in hospital and at home, and all the admin that goes with church life.

What I really wanted to do was teach and lead retreats. I was able to do some of this as a minister but not nearly as much as I would have liked. I do wonder if I might be able to set up a business of leading retreats themed around spiritual growth and development.

I am second-time married, and have two adult children from my first marriage.

I love the created world and all its inhabitants. I am as happy to sit and stare into our pond as I am do to anything else. I have kept chickens for the last six years. Each day with them brings insight into both chicken and human behaviour. I often wonder, in Christian terms, if we a not more like chicken than sheep.

I am hoping to get my own honeybees. I have taken two beginners beekeeping courses, but just haven’t been able to get started with the practical side. So, for now the blogs are more about ‘light’ than ‘sweetness’ … but that may change over time.