From Chennai to Pembrokeshire: Shirley Murphy – Part 3


Shirley and her husband, Julian

We asked Shirley, the first Indian woman vicar to be ordained into the Church of Wales, to tell us about her life. Here is more of what she told us...

My ordination into the Church in Wales took place  in June 2018. As the first Indian woman to be ordained in the Church in Wales, I currently serve as assistant curate at the Benefice of Narberth with Mounton, Robeston Wathen, Crinow, Minwear and Templeton.

I am assistant curate in this grouping at St Andrew’s Church, Narberth, St John’s Church, Templeton, St Womar’s Church, Minwear, and Robeston Wathen Church, Robeston Wathen.

I do the Sunday morning Holy Eucharist services and other services as and when needed. Besides that, as vicar, I am responsible for the pastoral needs of the congregation members including weddings, funerals etc.

I do a lot of volunteering and help people around the villages in Narberth, from different religious backgrounds. Actively involved in inter-faith programs, I  am a great supporter of the LGBT groups. I also help the food banks in Narberth as well as help the Pembrokeshire homeless with their needs.

 Prior to Covid-19, I  also regularly visited the schools in this area for the school assemblies.

Shirley on her motorbike

On the diocesan level as part of St Davids Diocese I am a member of the Communications Team, the Inter-faith Team and the Creation Care Team.

I like to be creative, to think ‘outside the box’. I have done Pet Blessing services and a Harvest Drive-in Service recently.

Before Covid, I also used to run Bible study groups in my house, prayer with yoga in the community hall, and Friday Club at the Church every Friday for the lonely.

I also used to visit the Cawdor Court elderly community once a month in order to give them home communion. But due to the pandemic, I had to end that. But instead I now visit them once a month, outside their flats, just to have a chat and see how they are doing, thereby hoping to alleviate loneliness and depression.

Having been brought up in an ardent Christian family, I have a particular passion to help the churches to be at the heart of the community and to be seen to make a difference in people’s lives. I am very interested in developing youth ministry, and attracting more young families and children to the church.

We will be publishing more soon about Shirley and her life in the church…

Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

Kitty is an incomer, with five summers under her belt and the knowledge that even the wettest and greyest of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire. She knows she will never live long enough to be considered a local but hopes to leave some small mark through writing about this beautiful county and its people.

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