Norwich priest seeks the prosperity of the City
After his ordination in Norwich Cathedral, Ian Fifield is exploring how business and church can work together to make the City prosper.
Ian was ordained on June 27 and has taken up his new role as curate at St Stephen’s Church in the heart of Norwich. He and his wife Lisa fell in love with Norwich when they moved here in 1989. Soon after, Ian qualified as an accountant and worked for the City Council, before they moved back to Upminster, Essex in 1994, where Lisa became a head teacher and Ian started his own finance training company.
They had planned to retire in Norwich but jumped at the chance of moving back in 2015 when Lisa took up a new teaching post. “I could run my business from anywhere, so it seemed like a good move” said Ian. “But I don't think that either of us realised what God had got planned for us.”
Ian remembers praying that God would show him what He wanted him to do church-wise and a series of chance conversations made it clear to him that God was calling him to seek to be ordained into the Church of England, whilst also continuing to run his training business.
“I have always known that following Jesus is not just about church and Sundays and so I wanted to find a way to combine my business life with my calling to being ordained,” says Ian. This led him to the book of Jeremiah. The people of Israel had found themselves in the City of Babylon, wondering what the future held for them. God speaks through Jeremiah in a letter, telling them to get on with their life and to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jer. 29:7)
Reflecting on this made him realise that combining his business life with his calling to ordained ministry might be a way to help bridge the gap between church and business life, and that St Stephen’s church was ideally located for this ministry. As the new curate, he is looking forward to spending time making new relationships with the business community that surrounds the church and understanding how the church community can better serve, support and pray for them.
“It has been a challenging time for the business community in the City due to the restrictions that were necessary due to the pandemic, and I want to get to know as many people as possible who work in the offices and shops within the City to better understand how business and the church can work together to bring peace and prosperity to the City,” says Ian.
As a part of this work, Ian would love to meet up with Christians who work in the City and who might be interested in joining forces in praying and serving our City. If you are inspired by his story, please drop him an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured above is Ian Fifield