Former nurse takes a new role in church

Fiona Collin outside Sunderland Minster. Picture by Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates
Fiona Collin outside Sunderland Minster. Picture by Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

A woman who grew up in the Tynemouth area has joined the Sunderland Minster as a curate having spent her previous career in nursing.

Fiona Collin’s caring nature found an outlet during a 30-year vocation in the nursing profession.

Initially serving in the NHS in North Tyneside, working in community nursing and as a sister in a hospital, she then worked in occupational health with Procter & Gamble before moving with her family to Berkshire.

When husband Neil, previously a Northumbria Police officer, retired having been an inspector in the Metropolitan force, Fiona began to look anew at her life.

Her decision in 2009 to volunteer as a hospital chaplain proved pivotal in testing her calling and on her subsequent journey towards ordination.

She said: “I had been talking about chaplaincy and started working as a hospital chaplain in Chertsey.

“I loved the job and it seemed to pull together the threads, suggesting a bigger role in the church.”

Now back in the north east she is looking forward to being ordained as a deacon.

She said: “I have always flourished in the pastoral setting and have a sense that my work with the church is about healing, just as in nursing.”

As part of the Sunderland team, Fiona, 50, hopes to use her experience to grow her pastoral ministry, building relationships whilst reaching out and sharing the gospel in the midst of city life.