Five years ago, Rob Byrne was a trainee journalist. The story he most enjoyed working on involved successfully reuniting somebody with the person who had saved their life more than 30 years before.
“I loved working with people and telling their stories”, says Rob.
But before long, he discovered that his true vocation wasn’t to report on people’s stories – it was to bring Jesus into their stories. Now, he is one of nine people being ordained as deacon into Rochester Diocese on 30 September.
The service will mark a special moment when Rob and his fellow ordinands will be given the title ‘the Reverend’, can wear a dog collar, and lead services as an assistant curate in their parish. Read more
“It is my overwhelming desire to see as many lives as possible transformed by Jesus. I am utterly blessed to have been set apart to serve God by serving the people of this parish, whether they are in their hour of need or their hour of joy.”
Being ordained doesn’t mean Rob has to give up his interest in current affairs and politics. In fact, understanding and responding pastorally to the issues affecting people’s lives is a key part of public ministry.
Rob’s even used some of his interests as a missional opportunity:
“I’m a huge fan of heavy metal music and because of that, I helped establish a ministry for metalheads called Fire & Blood in 2020.
“This relaunched the following year after lockdown & the group was profiled on BBC South East Today & Premier Christian Radio!”
Having deep and meaningful conversations with friends in the pub and spending quality time with his wife, and small children is really important to Rob too.
He’s recently becoming increasingly interested in contemplative spirituality and New Monasticism.
“At Christ Church, I’d love to play my part in bringing people closer to God through a deeper sense of community, loving service to one another and a rule of life.”
In a short video message, Rob explains how he believes that God has a calling for everyone, and not just to ordained ministry.
“God has bestowed gifts on each and every one of us. Whether you are frontline staff, a teacher, a doctor, an engineer. God has plans for you.
“I would encourage everyone to think about what that plan might be for them.”
Rob will be ordained on 30 September and will serve his training period, known as a curacy in the parish of Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells.
Please pray for Rob, his family and friends, and all those he will go on to serve in his parish community.