Church on Sunday can feel worlds away from our day-to-day lives. We asked Christians to tell us how their lives connect with their faith for Whatever You Do. 

Samantha Mullender

Samantha Mullender is a researcher working in sustainable food and farming at the Organic Research Centre and is a member of St Nicolas’ Church, Newbury.

I started working here just over a year ago, after finishing university and a five-month internship with the Christian conservation charity A Rocha in France, concentrating on marine conservation.
The environment and sustainability are key for me. I feel we have been given this amazing planet and asked to be good stewards of it, yet we are doing a poor job. Farming is a perfect example of making use of the riches God has given us, but we need to use these responsibly – using the land in the best way possible and respecting the rest of creation.

My days are busy, usually in the office carrying out computer based research, related to ways for farmers to assess their sustainability. It’s about recognising the equal value of environment and society alongside farmer livelihood, and engaging the farming community with this concept. Sometimes I visit farms to do assessments and find out how farmers do things. They all have different approaches and ideas – it’s really interesting to see the different methods.

It’s all very well carrying out research, but for me, the important thing is working with farmers to implement change on-the-ground.
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing a farmer take away an idea from our work that will help them to make changes that will make a difference.
One of the biggest challenges is turning research into practical methods, then into actual change. There is so much research being done, yet so many policies and practices are implemented that do not reflect or use it.

My faith influences my attitude to work. It has influenced my choice of sector. I enjoy the work I do and feel I’m doing something worthwhile. I think it was God who brought me to Newbury.
I moved from Essex, which is two-and-a-half hours away. I had to settle into a new life and church. Things are changing all the time, but I have to remember that God has a plan and purpose. I don’t necessarily know where that is going, but I will enjoy the process of whatever he wants me to do as the next step.

Please pray for:

  • open-mindedness within the whole farming and research communities and that each will work together in discussion and collaboration and be receptive to new ideas.
  • greater recognition of the value of our Earth for its own sake and not simply for the goods and services it provides to humanity.
  • God’s guidance in next steps – why did he bring me here? What role does he want me to fill?
  • help to inspire farmers to be passionate about caring for the land they manage.