From CMF news - winter 2009 - new faces [p03]
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Alex Bunn interviews Giles Cattermole who starts on 25 January.
Giles, let's start with your medical background. You have had quite a diverse training...
Well, I qualified in 1995, my house jobs were in Newcastle, and I completed my basic surgical training in Winchester. After a very short stint in Zimbabwe and then a year of anaesthetics in Salisbury I joined the Emergency Medicine HST rotation in Wales. Within a couple of years I was able to work part time, so I could do student work for my church in Cardiff, Highfields. And since getting my CCT, I have been working in an academic post at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from January 2008. I was also very involved in the BMA junior doctors' committee for a few years when I was part time, and I was in the Territorial Army for 10 years.
Why the TA?
Probably originally because my father and brother were in the army. But once I joined I realised the great opportunities for training in the areas of medicine I found most interesting: trauma, disaster relief, tropical stuff, etc. So I stayed, and for the last few years my main role was teaching the military versions of MIMMS and ATLS.
Your dad also mixed the military and ministry, didn't he?
My dad was an Army chaplain. I guess I've grown up recognising the importance of Word-ministry, and the need for it in all contexts.
Tell us about your family.
I've been married to Victoria for 14 years and we have four children – Elizabeth (9), Jemima (7), Henry (4) and Naomi (2).
You've spent the last couple of years in Hong Kong. What was that like?
I knew I wanted to go overseas again after I completed my SpR training, and although Hong Kong had never crossed my thoughts before, God sent this particular opportunity at just the right time. It's been good to live and work in a university environment, and it's been great being able to teach people the Bible in a massively different context, and to be able to do short term trips to other Asian countries.
And what's your experience of working with students?
I cut my teeth as a student with youth work on summer camps (kept going for 18 years!) and got stuck into student work when in Cardiff, mainly with Highfields church but also helping the CMF staff workers. I love teaching people the Bible, whether one-to-one or in small groups. Why students? Because that's the ministry God led me to, that he gave me the enthusiasm and gifts for, and that is so strategic – students are tomorrow's leaders. And they're so open to new ideas. It's a crucial time of life that sets people up in their faith and their thinking.
What are your priorities for CMF student work? How would you triage?!
Making disciples. It's all Ephesians 4 stuff: I long to see Word-ministry 'cascading' through the church as we all minister to each other, speaking the truth to each other in love, growing up to be more like Jesus. Practically I'd love to see older doctors mentoring younger doctors, younger doctors mentoring students … helping us apply the truths of God's Word in our context as Christians who happen to be doctors.
That 'speaking the truth in love' is really 'truthing': it's more than just speaking the truth, it's living the truth. In medicine we all need to be guided by those who've been there before us, showing us by their example and wisdom how to grow. We need to see in each other's lives how we can best be Christian doctors.
We are very grateful to Noel Aruparayil and Lizzie Groom, who are working part time in the office as interns. CMF first met Noel in Tver, Russia where he was helping translate for a PRIME conference. Congratulations to him and his new wife Laura, an English doctor whom he met on the same conference. Summer teams bring many blessings!
Lizzie is a medical student at Cardiff who is taking a year out to study ethics at Kings. They are both a real asset to CMF HQ, where they work behind the scenes and hopefully develop their gifts too.
Fifty nine budding leaders joined us in London for a weekend's training and resourcing. Johnson House is a great asset for ministry in a central location, so thanks to all who have given to the Capital Appeal. It allowed us to run our first ever cost-neutral student weekend! Peter Saunders was back in the saddle, preaching from 2 Timothy, and reminding us why gospel priorities need to remain at the heart of all CMF does.