Writing about anything related to Christian faith can be a real minefield because Christians hold so many different views. The author of these articles is still a fairly new Christian and mistakes can easily be made. [Ed: just the odd little one here and there – but my lips are sealed.] Rev. Tom Brazier was brought on board to check that the first article was theologically sound and heresy free and we haven’t been able to get rid of him since. [Ed: reword last phrase, please.] Tom was also part of the conception of the Generous Giving Project, which differs quite significantly from a traditional stewardship advisor’s role.
Being the editor gives Tom free reign [Ed: “free rein”] to be a huge grammar pedant [Ed: it’s not just grammar, I’m more of a jack-of-all-trades pedant], a character trait that is suppressed in ordinary pastoral life. Tom enjoys the challenge of receiving the unpolished musings of his protégé, and carefully deleting bits and suggesting amendments so as to craft them into palatable articles for the wider audience.
Tom is passionate about church giving because, he says, “giving is so closely linked to spiritual health and I love to see churches flourishing.” He also loves the idea of being part of something much bigger than ourselves and bigger than our local church.
Tom was ordained in 2012 after training at Cranmer Hall, and served his curacy at Holy Trinity Washington. Before Tom wore a dog collar he had a very different life. He grew up in South Africa, and after studying science at university, he worked as a software engineer developing training simulators to help train the cavalry to operate tanks. [Ed: which swords I now would like to see re-purposed as ploughshares. We also developed simulators for gigantic mining vehicles.]
After marrying Julie, the pair decided to take a few years out and to do some travelling, before returning home and getting on with their lives, but this short trip to Europe turned into a much longer trip indeed. Tom got a series of jobs working in London for a failing dotcom company, a not-failing investment bank and a motion picture special effects company. Using his extensive analytical skills honed in the simulator development industry, Tom lived and worked in London for 9 years, worshipping at St Simon’s in Shepherd’s Bush before the calling to ordained ministry became one he couldn’t ignore. [Ed: good word “honed” – make a note to use it again somewhere.]
Whilst training in Durham, he fell in love with the North East and decided to stay, which is just as well, as otherwise the communities of Greenside Parish would be without their vicar and the Generous Giving Project would churn out all kinds of nonsense. [Ed: again, my lips are sealed.]