Just four questions: Ian Jolley

Feb 5, 2016

Ian JolleyWhat has been the most formative period of your life?

I’ve lived in Christian community for 36 years and living in community has made me the person I am. My most formative years have to be when I lived at Anchorage, a community house in Birmingham which opened in 1983. I was in my early 20s, still at university – young, keen and energetic! It was exciting as Birmingham was the first big city we had church-planted in and the church was expanding. The teamwork was great, we supported and cared for each other and worked as very close family. Who I am and the way I do things now stems from that time.


What do you most and least enjoy doing?

I enjoy life when things work well and I’m getting something right. I’m a heating engineer and I like to do a job well. It’s very satisfying to get a letter from customers showing their appreciation of my service.

I volunteer at Coventry Jesus Centre drop-in and I’ve enjoyed success in making long-term friendships with some of our homeless or vulnerable visitors. It’s been so good to feel appreciated by them.

I least enjoy getting up in the mornings and speaking in public.


Cleaning the van

So, as a Christian, you have chosen to take a celibate vow? Why is that?

In no particular order: I feel God called me to it, the Bible suggests it is a good thing and I like it. I like it because it suits me or, should I say, I suit it – my temperament, my emotional make-up. Jesus said the gift of celibacy can be for those that can accept it and I’m able to accept it. The gift of celibacy serves the church well.

I chose celibacy when I was 21. Looking back, I was very young but fortunately I have no regrets.


You’ve always had a strong role working alongside children and teenagers in the church. Why have you chosen this?

I enjoy it. I’ve been working with teenagers since my mid-twenties. These days I lead “Lamb’s Club”, a Sunday morning Bible group for primary school children; I also sometimes do the ‘kids’ spot’ in the Sunday church meetings. It keeps you young; after all, they are our future.