New leader takes the helm of Longridge and Grimsargh church group

Ray Borg
Ray Borg
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The new minister at the helm of Churches Together in Longridge and Grimsargh says he is very clear about his purpose and vocation and as he looks forward to the year, hopes the group will follow a similar path.

The new minister at the helm of Churches Together in Longridge and Grimsargh says he is very clear about his purpose and vocation and as he looks forward to the year, hopes the group will follow a similar path.

The Rev Ray Borg, minister of Christ Church, Longridge, says: “My purpose is to worship God and to serve him by bringing his love and grace in the normal, everyday things of life. My vocation is expressed in very practical and down-to-earth ways. I like to make people laugh, I feel privileged when walking alongside people whilst they cry and I like to make people feel like they matter. But most of all, I want people to know God loves them so much, he gave up everything for them, and regardless of what they have been, said or done, God does not love them any less than he did the day they came into the world.

“It is my hope the Churches Together group will serve God in the two communities along similar lines.”

One look at Ray’s olive skin tone immediately alerts others to the fact he hails from warmer climes. Born to a tailor and his wife on the Mediterranean Island of Malta, the religion of his childhood was Roman Catholicism, which he looks back on as “an innocent and happy time bathed in perpetual sunshine and spent in exuberant play within an extensive family of four siblings and a large number of cousins”.

Emigrating with his family to the UK in 1968 when he was 10, Ray describes it as a “bitter-sweet experience with the sadness of leaving my kin behind whilst looking forward to experiencing new things....but my biggest wonder was how one could live in five places at one and the same time - Leyland, Preston, Lancashire, England and Great Britain!”

Ray remained with his childhood religion until his early 20s when he started dating a girl who attended Leyland Parish Church where the vicar opened up the Bible for him in a way he had never heard before. This gave him a thirst for more “spiritual milk” and it wasn’t long before Ray started to go to the Anglican Church.

Following marriage; two children, changing times, Ray and family started to go to Leyland Methodist Church as a temporary measure “whilst thinking about where we would like to worship”.

The move, says Ray, became permanent on account of three things, one of which was the Methodist tradition and theology finding a home in Ray’s heart. In time, he became a worship leader, youth leader and local preacher and in February 2005 at a Christian leadership conference in Cheltenham, Ray says he heard God’s call to Presbyteral Ministry and in July 2013 he was ordained as a Presbyter in London.

He says: “It could be said I learned about discipline from the Catholic Church, about salvation from the Anglican Church and about grace from the Methodist Church. It could also be said that I have hedged my bets and I will travel to heaven on three passports!”

Joking aside, Ray is very comfortable with Methodist tradition and doctrine and firmly believes it is the “best boat from which to fish for souls”.

Before being called to ministry, Ray ran his own business as a business and training consultant; designed and delivered management training programmes and was also an ‘Investors in People’ advisor and assessor.

Ray lives in Cottam and also has pastoral charge of Ingol and Lea Methodist churches, allocating his time between the needs of his three three churches; chaplaincy to Ashton Primary School; leadership of an ecumenical project in Ingol called Share IT! and duties within the Methodist Circuit. Interests which help him to relax are Salsa dancing and photograpy.