Interfaith minister has battled eyesight issues

JPCT 26-09-12 S12390105X    Jean Francis is a newly ordaned minister performing unique and specialised ceremonies in Horsham  -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 26-09-12 S12390105X Jean Francis is a newly ordaned minister performing unique and specialised ceremonies in Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

A Horsham grandmother has battled eyesight problems to be ordained as an Interfaith minister and spiritual counsellor.

Jean Francis, of Depot Road, thought she would be unable to take the two-year course, because she was unable to read because of eyesight problems she has had to contend with since contracting measles at three.

However, after an operation restored sight in one eye, she finished her course with the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation in July.

She began looking into Interfaith after attending the first interfaith marriage in the country between Miranda and Robert Holden in the 1990s.

“We are not here to judge but we will sit and listen with great interest,” she said.

“There are a lot of people that have a deep spirituality and they do not fit into the religious cubbyholes and that’s my strength.”

She works part-time as a funeral arranger in Brighton, does cooking for a residential home for the elderly in Hurst Road, has three grandchildren, and has three published books to her name

Explaining Interfaith, she said: “We are all aiming at that ultimate. Some people call the ultimate God, or Buddha. I call it a universal spirit which absorbs all of these.”

Ceremonies that she offers include baby namings, anniversaries, weddings, civil partnerships, life and memorial celebrations, all tailored to her client’s wishes.

She ran an animal blessing ceremony with another interfaith minister, and has been asked by Horsham Unitarian Church in Worthing Road to perform another in the near future.

She said: “All the dogs started barking when we did the hymn, but there was a lightness to it.”

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