Ten people from churches across the Midlands region were commissioned for lay ministry at a special service at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday (3 September).
The new ministers will take up roles as Readers in church communities across the Diocese of Lichfield which covers Staffordshire, most of Shropshire and the Black Country.
They were admitted to office by the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, at a special service at the Cathedral.
Readers are lay people who have been selected, trained and licensed by the Church of England to teach the faith, enable mission and to be leaders in church and in society. Working together with clergy colleagues they play their part in encouraging the whole people of God to grow in confidence in proclaiming God’s kingdom.
Professor Clive Marsh, Principal of The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, preached at the service.
Bishop Michael said: “Lay ministry is a distinct vocation and Readers greatly enrich the life of the Church and growth of God’s kingdom. It was wonderful to be able to recognise and commission these people into a variety of settings and churches across our diocese. As churches continue to adapt to the post-pandemic landscape we find ourselves in – and all of the opportunities and challenges this offers – resilient and flexible ministry teams with a good mix of lay and clergy people will be increasingly important.”
Photos from Saturday’s service can be viewed in our Flickr album.
Lichfield Diocese has a strong history of supporting and equipping lay ministry. Learn more about vocation on our website.
Those licensed as Readers were:
Shrewsbury Episcopal Area
Jayne Hill in the benefice of Astley, Clive, Grinshill and Hadnall
Paul Lewis in the benefice of Edgmond with Kynnersley and Preston Wealdmoors and the benefice of Tibberton with Bolas Magna and Waters Upton
Stafford Episcopal Area
Matthew Edwards in the benefice of Barton under Needwood with Dunstall and Tatenhill
Stephanie Goodwin in the benefice of Uttoxeter Area
Wolverhampton Episcopal Area
Iain Coleman in the benefice of Pattingham with Patshull
Craig Hibbert in the benefice of Brereton and Rugeley with Armitage
Vivienne Elaine Holt in the benefice of Penn Fields
Helen Mullins in the benefice of Alrewas with Fradley
Leah Sandford in the benefice of Tamworth
Tina Titley in the benefice of Willenhall S.Stephen