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St Mary's
Overton

bringing more of God
to more of our lives

Biography

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Rev
Ian
Smale

I was born and brought up in the island of Guernsey where my wife, Sue, and I lived all our lives until 1998. Sue and I were married in 1983 and we have two children Becky (25) and Donna (24).

From school I went to work for the island’s civil service, the Income Tax office – yes, people do pay taxes in Guernsey! After 3 years there I moved to Barclays Bank doing tax compliance work for them – gamekeeper turned poacher.

After 12 years there tax work was not making enough money for the bank so they asked me to move sideways into Trusts, offshore companies and investment working with many wealthy international clients. I reached the dizzy heights of Associate Director for Barclays Private Bank in Guernsey. I was earning a good salary but I was increasingly unhappy with how I was earning it. My work largely consisted in persuading wealthy people in developing countries to take there savings out of their own country and place it in the safe (non –tax) hands of Barclays in Guernsey). I didn’t want to do that any more but what should I, could I, do instead?

When I was 18 the vicar of our church thought I might make good vicar material so he sent me off on a weekend for people considering these things. I concluded then that it wasn’t for me. But many years later perhaps…? I dismissed the idea because I still didn’t think I was cut out for such a vocation. However, God pursued me and challenged me through my reading of particular passages of Scripture, through one particular sermon, through comments that people were making and other circumstances. Sue and I explored the possibility of some sort of full time ministry through an agency called Christian Vocations.

We went to see someone in London and explored our strengths, weaknesses and aptitudes.

He asked me then, after 9 months of wondering and praying, what my heart’s desire was – what I really wanted to do. It was then that I realised that I really wanted to be in full time ordained ministry in the church but, up to that moment, was too chicken to admit it to myself. I didn’t think I could do it and I still don’t but if that is what God wants for you he will equip.

Once I had made that discovery things began to fall in to place. God confirmed his calling through the response of our children and other family members and through a dozen other ways.

In 1998 we went to live in Oxford where I trained for the ministry. We then came to Overton and Laverstoke where I learned the ministerial ropes as a curate under the watchful eye of the then Rector Nigel Cumming. That is a four year steep learning curve. From there Sue and I launched out to three parishes near Eastbourne. We learned a lot there about ministry in the Church of England and about the gracious and glorious ways of God. We then couldn’t resist the pull back to Overton and Laverstoke when Nigel retired. I was licensed here in September 2008.

My passion is to see more and more people coming to know the reality of the living God and I won’t rest until everyone in Overton and Laverstoke have the chance to explore the Christian faith and discover the love of God and how great Jesus Christ is. So look out!

My lesser passions include supporting Manchester United, watching and occasionally playing tennis, playing guitar and reading.

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