- Tamar Valley Methodist Church
- PL18 9EP
David Stolton’s Story
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Gravesend in Kent, but brought up in the beauty of Jersey (Cornwall comes a close second!), where my Dad was the congregational minister, before moving to Havant, then to University in Bradford to study Pharmacy, and finally to Plymouth, then Cornwall. I have had my present pharmacy at West Hoe in Plymouth for 25 years, and really feel part of the community there. Part of that community is severely disadvantaged - serving them is a great privilege.
What are your hobbies or interests? I am passionate about the arts (I write a bit, play trombone, compose a bit and paint a bit!) and love using the arts in worship. I’m helping set up a Community Theatre in Plymouth, opening up the arts to all, and I enjoy cycling, swimming, body-boarding, and, when I can, skiing, not to mention getting out into God’s great outdoors, which necessarily involves a little gardening!
How did you become a Christian? Being brought up in a Christian family, with a dad who is the minister brings certain expectations of a teenager, and initially I absorbed everything I heard about God. But as I grew up, I started questioning things, partly as I studied science more, and partly as my friends, who weren’t Christian, tried to pull me away. But my Mum was a deeply spiritual person from whom I learnt a lot, and together with my Dad’s teaching from the pulpit and a brilliant youth leader, I gradually came to the realisation that God had a calling on my life, and that Jesus truly was my Lord and my Saviour. I felt the need to use my scientific knowledge for good, so trained as a pharmacist, initially in the hospital, and then in the community.
You are also a Minister. How did that come about? As far as my call to ministry went - well I felt God’s call for a long time soon after I became a Christian, but felt totally unprepared, totally inadequate for the task. So God trained me - put me to youth work to start, then preaching, and then challenged me with Jesus’ own words in Luke’s gospel “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”.
Somehow, the Lord (and my family) gave me strength and time to train part time at Exeter University and South West Ministry School whilst still working as a Pharmacist - a calling I still felt to be part of this broader ministry God had placed on me, and I started working “part time” as a minister in Tavistock, before moving to the Callington Circuit. God has blessed me and my family richly and I am able to combine working as a Pharmacist and a minister - the two roles overlapping frequently as I care for my patients and my congregation, mind, body and soul.
Do you have some favourite Bible Verses? Yes. The words of Jesus quoted already (from Luke's gospel chapter 4) and also Colossians 3 particularly verses 12-17 - you'll often hear me quote it in sermons:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.
Let the Word of Christ--the Message--have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God!
Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.