Alongside supporting a new parish ministry in Bishop’s Cleeve, the Revd Nat Garrett produces a weekly podcast for a digital project pioneered by the Church of England.
As the voice of Seen & Unseen Aloud, Nat explains more about the project and its pioneering work in sharing the Christian story with new audiences.
As well as being an Anglican minister, since 2022 Nat has worked part-time for the Centre for Cultural Witness commuting into Lambeth Palace Library in London. Nat, with her husband, the Revd Tim Garrett, and their two daughters, moved from Twickenham to Gloucestershire in January 2023 when Tim became Team Rector of St Michael and All Angels, Bishop’s Cleeve.
Nat says, “I’ve always had projects outside my parish ministry. Partnering with the Bible Society, I’ve written, produced and performed in Biblically-based plays in London and Oxford; I regularly contributed to BBC Radio Oxford and Radio 2’s Pause for Thought as well as appearing on Songs of Praise. I was a school chaplain for seven years and an Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands in London Diocese, all alongside my ministry within parish.
“Having worked as an actor before I felt called to ordination, it was clear to me that I wanted to bring to ordained ministry my creative gifts while keeping one foot firmly in parish ministry. I strongly believe in the importance and value of parish life, but I’ve never felt that being the incumbent of a church was part of my calling. While I was training, I started going out with the curate from the nearby church and we fell in love and got married. Marrying a vicar means I will always have a life based in the parish, which is wonderful.
“Graham [the Rt Revd Graham Tomlin] was our Bishop in London, and when we heard about the vision he had for creating the Centre for Cultural Witness, we were really excited about it. I am so grateful to be able bring my creative skills and experience to the CCW, while still being deeply involved in parish life here in Gloucestershire. We have been made to feel very welcome by our new worshipping community and are loving the easy access to countryside walks from our home.”
Seen & Unseen is a digital magazine published by the Centre for Cultural Witness which aims to bridge the gap between Christians and non-Christians through topical articles and stories. Nat records and produces the weekly episodes of Seen & Unseen Aloud, which is an audio version of articles written for the Seen & Unseen online magazine.
“The aim of the CCW’s flagship project, Seen & Unseen, is to talk about the things that people are really talking about, gathering what is good about the heritage of the Anglican Communion and the Christian tradition and repackaging it in a way that will reach today’s secular audience.
“I produce Seen & Unseen Aloud so that people can access our content anywhere – on the bus, doing the washing up – but also, importantly, so that our material is accessible to individuals who find reading content on a screen challenging for whatever reason.
“It’s wonderful to be part of this dynamic organisation right from the start, which is growing and developing all the time. Feedback has been really positive. People seem excited that there is a ‘sensible’ Christian voice talking into the public marketplace of ideas – something that is shareable and accessible.”
The Centre of Cultural Witness is an independent charity hosted by the Church of England in Lambeth Palace Library. Seen & Unseen presents accessible material offering Christian perspectives on topical subjects. As well as the online magazine, there are two podcasts available to listen to:
Re-enchanting – produced by Justin Brierley and Belle Tindall, features a mixture of guests talking about aspects of Christianity
Seen & Unseen Aloud – produced by Nat Garrett, is a curation of the top picks of articles published on the Seen & Unseen website.