Written by Maike Currie - City A.M. Money Magazine
Maike Currie writes about investments and money matters for Fidelity Worldwide Investment.
Well groomed and softly spoken, Jane is an “English rose” but doesn’t shy away from talking about subjects that could make others uncomfortable.
“The other thing that’s really important to me is my faith. Both my husband and I are committed Christians. We’re pastors in the church and that’s a big priority in life.” I ask her about the denomination and, when she explains more, I hesitantly ask whether it’s one of those “more uhmmm charismatic churches”. She smiles at my question and says, “Yes… I am one of those.”
Have you always been “one of those”? She laughs. “No, it was actually through my first boss in the City. I was brought up Church of England. I went to boarding school. I remember going up to take communion or something of the sort and the choir singing ‘let mortal flesh keep silent’ and being like ‘oh my goodness’… I didn’t like all the religious stuff.”
She continues: “But later in my life, I found myself searching for meaning in life. I couldn’t believe that you just lived the best life you could, you die, you rot away and that’s it. I thought there has got to be more to life than that. I was really searching. I had a good job, a lovely family but there was something missing for me. I did the Alpha course back in the mid-80s and it all changed.”
She met her husband through the church in 2003. At the time she was 39 years old. “We met in October, got engaged in December and by April of the next year we were married. We both just knew it was right.”
At the time her husband was a missionary in Romania. He had originally been in the food distribution business in the UK and, after the Iron Curtain fell, he took his distribution truck and some food into Romania and ended up staying for a number of years. Today, they still visit the country every year.
“I remember the first time I visited, I went to a city called Cluj-Napoca and I was shocked. I hadn’t seen poverty like that ever before. I had been to Soweto (South Africa) and the Philippines but to see the gypsy camps right next to the dump where they scavenge, and the thing with Romania it can be plus 30 or minus 25 degrees and people live in corrugated iron makeshift shacks, with no electricity or running water. I couldn’t believe that this was Europe.”
Do your job and your faith ever conflict? I ask. “I did have a career break at one stage – I wanted to get away from it all – I was thinking it’s all about money, money, money. But I ended up back in the City. I do believe that I am in the right place, doing what I’m supposed to do.” She modestly adds: “What I do and the money I earn gives me the ability to help other people.”
It’s time to get back to the office. We didn’t get around to politics but we covered religion and money in depth, I jest. Jane laughs. “Yes, it’s that old English thing… you don’t talk about… But you know, to me the most important thing is not to compromise who I am.”