Nick Stephens is a member of St Nicholas Church in WarndonVillage, Worcester, where he recently trained as a Reader. He works for theMinistry of Justice as an Operations Manager in the Digital and Technologyteam.
What parthas your faith played in your work?
I began my career in sales, but after getting divorced in2000, I really felt that I wanted a complete change and the opportunity to givesomething back. My plan was to go back to college and train to become an ITteacher. At the same time, I began a temporary job working in IT at HMP Hewellin Redditch and although I completed my degree, they asked me to stay withthem.
My official job title is as a Civil Servant and there isdefinitely a strong element of service in the role. Our team is there to ensurethat peoples lives are better for our input were not just out to get whatwe can from our customers.
How has working in prison impactedyour own faith?
My faith has definitely changed while Ive been working atthe prison, but thats down to a whole range of things. However, in the prisonyou are constantly reminded that there are many less fortunate than you. Thepurpose of prisons should be about getting people back into society and we allhave a role to play in that, even if were not prisoner-facing. I believe it iseasier if you have some form of faith, its why prisons have chaplaincy teams.
Ive spoken to the chaplains myself when facing challengingissues at work, for example weve had staff members who have died and onemember of staff whose family member committed suicide. I also worked with aMuslim colleague who asked me to pray for him during his health issues. Itsnot the kind of thing that gets taught when training to be a manager, but allthese things will affect how people are able to do their jobs. Im generallyquite open about my faith, which has led to some interesting conversations!
What advice would you give othersabout sharing faith in the workplace?
Social media is a good place to start. Inevitably peoplewill have different views on your faith, but its important to be honest andupfront and just accept those opinions. It doesnt mean you have to be perfect its a great chance to have conversations about failure and being human!
Find out more at www.cofe-worcester.org.uk/everyday-faith.