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Getting to know… Anita Ryan
This term is an exciting one at Crown Church, not least because it sees two, new, part-time members of staff joining in the fun. With Femi taking on administrative responsibilities and overseeing the Kids Work, and Anita tending our financial accounts, I managed to put my (limited) journalistic interviewing skills to use and find out a bit more about them. Click here for Femi’s interview or read on for Anita.
DS: Hi Anita.
What are the main bullet-points of your life so far?
Do we have the whole day?! The first bullet point of my life is meeting Christ. Meeting Christ and knowing Christ are two different things. The church I was brought up in was extremely religious and it was only when I went to university that I met other Christians who seemed to know Christ and that helped me to do the same. When I came to England I joined Crown and learnt about the grace of God which was totally different from any teaching I’ve ever been under. I can’t explain to you what it meant to my life when the penny dropped, it was like a new beginning, a whole different concept of who Jesus was. Those are the main points of my ‘Christian life’ and I can’t wait for the next one! God has such great plans.
Meeting my husband is a huge highlight! Meeting Eoin, getting to know him and marrying him; he is totally my soulmate, and the triangle of me God and Eoin is a good infrastructure! Having my children is my other point. God has really blessed me, I sometimes question Him why He gave me three beautiful kids because sometimes I feel like I can’t influence them in the right way, but they are absolutely the joy of my life.
Were you named after anyone?
I would have liked to have been named after somebody great so I would aspire to that greatness. Coming from an African background, name is so important - so if my name meant ‘courageous’ or ‘brave’ then every time someone called ‘Anita’ then I’d get a little boost, a little encouragement.
Where in Africa are you from?
I’m from South Africa, Natal.
Thanks. I’m not suggesting this is linked to where you’re from in any way, it’s just the next question on my page!…
Can you relax in a messy room?
No! I’m borderline OCD, that’s why I make a great accountant. I cannot relax in a messy room. Whether it’s clean mess or unclean mess, it has to be organised.
What do you do when you are driving alone in a car?
I talk to myself! I usually have this list in my head. I try not to do it in front of anyone else, but I put my phone in the car and I pretend like I’m speaking to somebody but I go through all my list of what needs to be done; short-term, long-term and very-long-term. I’m rarely alone in the car because of my kids, but when I am, it’s the only time that I’m able to think of how I can plan my life goals. I wish I had said something spiritual like I talk to God!
I think planning is spiritual in it’s own way, it’s all part of our walk. Ok…
Red or pink?
Camping or dancing?
Friday or Saturday?
Do you like answering lots of short questions?
I don’t mind.
Do you cook?
I love to cook. I love to bake. It’s one of the only times I get to be by myself.
What excites you?
Lots of things. Rain. Accomplishing something with the help of lots of people. Small things excite me. Seeing jelly beans excites me; seeing colours excites me. Anything that makes me happy. Lots of things, but definitely rain.
Where does that love of rain come from?
The smell. The smell of rain hitting the ground, mmmmm.
Is that a childhood thing, can you trace it back to a particular event?
I used to love to stand out on the veranda when it used to rain, and especially after a hot summer and it just helped to settle the dust, and with my OCD I just loved how it cleans everything away!
What facial expression or movement do you do when you’re annoyed?
I very rarely get annoyed…
I have these dimples, and no matter how cross I get I always end up laughing. So nobody really takes me seriously when I get angry, even in my house. My children learnt that a long time ago. Deaglàn [eldest son] has played a key role in explaining the whole situation to his sisters, so at the moment we’re having a bit of a problem with that because every time I get angry I start laughing. I’ll say “Would you like to hear my loud voice?” and they say “Yes mummy” and I burst out laughing. I’m working on it. I’m working on my loud voice and angry face.
Let’s leave the quick-fire questions there.
You’re managing our financial accounts now, is that a good way of describing your role?
Do you have anything you’d like to say about it?
It’s a great opportunity that the church has given me to actually invest in the church finances, and apply what I’ve learnt commercially. When I do the books, I don’t notice who’s given, I’m just blown away by the general generosity within the church it’s phenomenal. I love finance. One of my excitements is when a trial balance hits, it’s just really exciting…
A trial balance?
A trial balance is a pre-balance sheet.
Ok. When a balance sheet hits, that’s the official way to say it?
That’s just when everything balances, when everything looks ok.
I want to use the right terminology, so from now on I’ll say ‘hits’
I just like to think that my role is making sure that other leaders in the church don’t have to worry about this area. But I’ve also added a prayer element to my role in thanking God for everyone who gives, thanking God for what He has provided and for helping us hit another target, and in that way I feel spiritually linked to the role and not just mentally connected. I get excited when money is given to God. I get excited because it releases people to do what God wants them to do in serving the church and the wider community.
To contact Anita Ryan please email: firstname.lastname@example.org