A Life With The Promise Of Adventure
A Life With The Promise Of Adventure

A Life With The Promise Of Adventure

The Revd. David Tomlinson comes to his new job as Vicar of the Parish of Saint John’s Shildon in the south Durham town having had a varied life which includes fostering more than 50 children and running a rare editions bookshop.

David and wife Davina, who wed in 1985, settled in Darlington before moving to Scotland in 1994 to establish a retreat and crisis centre on the Kintyre.

He said: “Setting up Greenhill Crisis and Retreat Centre was my biggest challenge. We moved to the middle of nowhere, knew no one, and set up something completely new. We basically renovated a semi derelict house, had six bedrooms, plenty of land and opened our doors to the world. People came from all over, some stayed for up to a year, we supported people moving back into the community, the local authorities used us as a refuge.

 Signing The License

Signing The License

“We had all ages, single people, disabled, addicts in recovery, people suffering from AIDS and much more. We ran it for nine years, it was exciting, challenging, and exhausting.

“During this time I also authored numerous articles, joined the board of a Cinema business, and set up an Antiquarian book business and we fostered around 50 children.

“We sold our business interests and property in 2006, moving back to County Durham to study for ministry at Saint John’s College in Durham. I was ordained Deacon in 2009 and Priested a year later serving my curacy in Shildon. The parish moved into interregnum during my curacy and I was subsequently offered the position of Priest in Charge which I was delighted to accept.

“We continue to foster, though our own two children, Nathaniel and Naomi, are now grown up. Naomi lives and works in the slums of Manila, working with street children, Nathaniel works as a chef, and is passionate about food.”

David, who was formally licensed on Sunday night (Feb 10), said: “I am also trustee of two charities, The Edith Jackson Trust, which focuses on the development of education in the Southern Sudan, and Triple E, which focuses on street children in the Philippines.

“My life journey has been defined around my understanding of faith, its development, and my church experience. At the age of 12 in school careers lesson when asked what I wanted to be I answered ‘a Vicar’ much to the amusement of my peers.

“I have always lived with a profound sense of the spiritual and that I should eventually find myself here is the result of a life I have tried to live facing in God-wards direction.

“For me God is truly closer than the air we breathe and through good times and in bad I have found that foundation of faith has simply grown deeper. Always passionate about injustice for me being Christian is about calling all people brother or sister, it is about living as if each matters, really matters, and so connecting with God who is always in the other, and thus seeing him all around.”

“I work at connecting people with God and with each other through living something of God in me, developing a sense of community through our community projects, and encouraging people in their faith.

“ Each day promises an adventure, unexpected people moments that I smile at afterwards, time spent laughing with our current foster kids, opportunities to glimpse hope in the midst of dark places, of sharing something of life with those I love. This is what gets me out of bed.”

MANDATORY Picture Byline: Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates or Keith Blundy


Image 4 – The Revd David Tomlinson signs his license watched by The Venerable Nick Barker, Archdeacon of Auckland


MANDATORY Picture Byline: Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates or Keith Blundy

Image 6 – The Revd David Tomlinson receives license and blessing from The Right Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow.


MANDATORY Picture Byline: Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates or Keith Blundy

Image 3 – The Revd David Tomlinson at St John’s Shildon.


MANDATORY Picture Byline: Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates or Keith Blundy


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