60-second interview with Mary Hawes

1 Who inspired you most to go into the church?

No one – it had been something that had been in my mind for many years before it was possible. I remember watching the General Synod vote to allow women to be ordained as priests, and thinking ‘OK – I’ve got to think seriously about this.’ Almost immediately a friend rang me up and just said, ‘Ordination then?’ and I knew that perhaps the Holy Spirit was nudging me!  

2 What is your favourite book of the Old Testament?

Probably Micah – I love Micah 6:8 (go on – look it up!). But I also find the Psalms amazing as all human emotion is there.  

3 What is your favourite book of the New Testament?

Luke’s Gospel with its emphasis on the vulnerable and marginalized.  

4 What is the best advice you’ve even been given?

To be myself when I went for my selection for ordination training conference. I might have taken it a bit far, skipping morning worship to watch Breakfast telly!  

5 What is the best advice you’ve given?

I’m not the sort of person who gets asked for advice.  

6 Who is your favourite saint?

Probably Peter – he was so impulsive and kept on messing up, yet Jesus never gave up on him.  

7 What is you favourite hymn?

‘Love Divine all loves excelling’ is pretty high up the list – along with When a ‘Knight won his purrs in the stories of old’.  

8 What is you favourite carol?

It came upon a midnight clear.  

9 What is your favourite service in the Christian calendar?

Advent Sunday - all the anticipation of new beginnings and the coming of Christmas.  

10 If you could have met Jesus, what would you have said to him?  

12 men? And you didn’t think that would cause problems….!!!!!  

11 What is your favourite book?  

(If we leave aside The Bible) anything by Patricia Cornwell or Jane Austen suits me (or The Mists of Avalon, or Little Women). I just love reading!

12 What is your favourite film?  

Miracle on 42nd Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. They are my 2 MUST WATCH films to start Christmas. (And I won’t turn down the chance to watch anything with Fred Astaire in it!)  

13 What is your favourite piece of music?  

Um – you’re asking someone who really isn’t into music. Give me Radio 4 and the spoken word any time!   

14 What do you like to do in your spare time?  

I’d like to say something that makes me look creative, or intellectual – but actually I love watching TV (the more low-brow the better!), visiting France or watching Watford FC at Vicarage Road.  

15 What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?  

Hard to believe – but I’ve never had a worst job – I’ve loved them all: shop work, teaching, Cathedral work, Diocesan work…  

16 What do you believe is the Church’s main challenge for the next 5 years?

To try to live Christ’s message of love in a way that is attractive to the world when internally we seem to be tearing each other apart.

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