David is the seventh generation of Gwatkin to farm in the Welsh Marches. His background and his personal experience make him all too aware of the often overwhelming pressures farmers, their families and communities can face.
"Like farming, being a chaplain is often about leaving the comfort of our church, our home behind and getting out there, getting muddy, going where the need is. Being involved in agriculture makes me understand the pressures of time. We're all quite proud and self-sufficient people. Picking up the phone to ask for help or to flag up our vulnerabilities can be a very difficult thing to do."
David sees part of his role as building face to face relationships with those he seeks to support on the ground. For him, ministry might take place over a fence in a field, a corner of the livestock market or in the cabin of a tractor. Liaising and collaborating with other organisations both locally and nationally is of great importance to David's role enabling him to signpost people to appropriate organisations and assist practically as well as pastorally.