New lay ministers celebrated
Fourteen people were commissioned by the Bishop of Lichfield for lay ministry across Lichfield Diocese on Saturday.
The new ministers were admitted to office by The Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave at a packed service at Lichfield Cathedral.
They will take up new roles as Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers and Lay Funeral Celebrants in various parts of the Diocese which covers Staffordshire, northern Shropshire and the Black Country.
The candidates represent a wide range of ministries, from preaching and teaching, pastoral care, leading funerals to prayer companions.
Dr Andrew Hayes, Tutor in Historical Theology at the Queens Foundation in Birmingham, preached. Dr Hayes taught many of those who were being licensed as readers and said what a privilege it had been to be part of their journey.
He described the role of lay leaders as collaborating with other leaders to discover what Jesus is already doing, and to join in as equals so that others can do the same. “They will lead by example and that example will be to humbly follow in unpredictable circumstances, and in collaboration with others,” he said.In a charge to the new minsters before the licensing and authorisation took place, Bishop Michael reminded the candidates that their calling was not to be ‘quasi clergy’, but that lay ministry is a distinct vocation which greatly enriches the life of the church and the growth of the kingdom of God.
Photos from Saturday’s service can be viewed here.
Lichfield Diocese has a strong history of supporting and equipping lay ministry. This September marks the start of a period of development in the Vocations and Training team as, along with colleagues in the Queens Foundation, a review is undertaken of the Reader training programme with the aim of launching a new-look programme in September 2019.
More information and the opportunity to be involved in the consultation will be coming soon. If you think God is nudging you to explore any form of ministry, or to explore your vocation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the Vocations and Training team.
Those licensed were:
Wolverhampton Episcopal Area
Andrew Bailey - as a Reader in the benefice of Penn Fields, Wolverhampton
Peter Carmody-Heaton - as a Lay Funeral Minister in the benefice of West Bromwich All Saints
Jane Dayus-Hinch - as a Lay Funeral Minister in the Deanery of Lichfield
Frances Jones - as a Lay Funeral Minister in the parish of Wednesfield St Gregory the Great
Adrian Mallen - as a Reader in the benefice of Bilston
Jane Scott - as a Reader in the parish of Ettingshall Holy Trinity
Janet Shackleton - as an Authorised Lay Minister in the benefice of Penn
Pamela Strong - as a Reader in the parish of Little Aston St Peter
Helen Thorpe-Wood - as a Reader in the benefice of Bloxwich
Ann Marie Wilson - as a Reader in the benefice of Branston and Burton All Saints with Christ Church
Stafford Episcopal Area
Barrie Jackson - as a Reader in the benefice of Bagnell with Endon
Karen Kidd - as a Lay Funeral Minister in the Benefice of Longor, Quarnford, Sheen and Warslow with Elkstone
Shewsbury Episcopal Area
Elizabeth Perkins - as a Reader in the parish of Moreton Say
Rosalie Wheeldon - as an Authorised Lay Minister in the benefice of the Deanery of Wrockwardine