Esme Beswick, one of CTE’s (Churches Together in England) Presidents from 2002-2006, has recently celebrated her 50th anniversary of Christian ministry. She spoke with CTE’s Lucy Olofinjana about her passion for church unity, her Pentecostal ministry and her decades of ecumenical engagement.
The overwhelming sense you get from speaking with Bishop Esme is that she is a disciple of Christ, full of confidence in who God has made her and what He has called her to do.
Growing up as the only sister of seven brothers, Bishop Esme says she models her life and faith on her father who had great devotion to Christ. He was an Anglican lay preacher, and later Pentecostal minister, in Jamaica. The family gathered each Sunday morning at 6am for family prayers, and her father influenced their whole village as well as instilling great love and confidence in his children.
When Bishop Esme arrived in England in 1961 – for what she thought would be a period of just five years – she brought this confidence and strong faith with her, determined to be a devoted person for the kingdom of God.
“When I came to Kent to train as a nurse, I became very serious about my salvation and Christianity. I knew it was important to believe in Jesus Christ, to search the Scripture myself, so eventually I went to bible school and studied liberation theology. I wanted to understand what it means to be a Christian, not only in words, but in actions.”
(Photo: Bishop Esme with other CTE Presidents)