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Five new lay ministers licensed

Published: 11th September 2023

The new lay ministers in the cathedral during their licensingFive people from parishes across the Diocese were admitted to the office of Reader on Saturday in Worcester Cathedral. The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, conducted the service, licensing the individuals to minister in the parishes they have been called to serve.

Readers are trained and licensed lay ministers in the Church of England authorised in particular to exercise a ministry of preaching and teaching and offer lay leadership in Mission. They undergo a two-year training course before being admitted to the role, which ends with the award of a Certificate in Higher Education by the University of Durham. After being licensed they carry out a wide range of tasks within their parishes and beyond, especially helping others to reflect on their faith and how it relates to their daily lives.Newly licensed Readers outside the cathedral with Bishop John

Those admitted and licensed were:

  • Rachel Cramp, who will serve in St John the Baptist in Claines and St George’s Church in Worcester
  • Christine Knight, who will serve in the parish of St Mary’s in Kingswinford
  • Kay Mason, who will serve in the benefice of Kempsey and Severn Stoke with Croome d'Abitot and Norton
  • Marion May, who will serve in the Worcester South East Team
  • Julie Westlake, who will serve in the benefice of Evesham with Norton and Lenchwick

The service took place in Worcester Cathedral on Saturday afternoon.

Quotes from the Candidates:

Rachel Cramp (Claines & St George’s, Worcester) said: “It has been a long time since I studied formally, but it has been wonderful! I have learnt so much through the Reader training and my faith has grown and developed. I have enjoyed the challenge of putting services together and also leading a prayer group. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to meet people pastorally, helping them through difficult times as well as lots of other new things which will challenge me.”

Chris Knight with Bishop JohnChristine Knight (St Mary, Kingswinford), said: “I have found the Reader training both interesting and challenging. Learning about church doctrine and history has been very interesting, and finding out more about the Bible has been absolutely wonderful. If you think Licensed Lay Ministry is what God wants you to do then have a think about it. It is challenging but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment once you’ve done it, and very blessed.”

Kay Mason with Bishop JohnKay Mason (Kempsey and Severn Stoke with Croome d'Abitot and Norton) said: “It’s been a long journey for me. I first felt called to do this in 2008 but due to various health-related setbacks was unable to complete the training. It has been very hard as well, being Dyslexic I have struggled with the academic side, but with God’s support and guidance I’m there now and it feels wonderful! I have a foundation degree in Art and Design and I have been asked to lead an Arts Ministry. To work with the community and lead growth through this area. God is calling me to exercise my passion and Art is so tactile, I know God wants me to use this to show people how much he loves them.”

Marion May (Worcester South East), said: “I’ve always wanted to go further and explore some area of ministry, but it never seemed to be right time. The opportunity came after my vicar suggested lay Reader training and I thought that if I didn’t do it now, I never would! I’m really proud that I took the step and it has definitely given me more confidence in my ministry. It will be great to work in my parish and share the Good News of Jesus with more people.”

Julie Westlake (Evesham with Norton and Lenchwick) said: “It’s been hard work, but also a real joy. I have discovered a passion for learning and a passion for the Old Testament and have met a wonderful group of people who I know will be an ongoing support as we journey together. It has been an amazing experience. I am looking forward to continuing to come alongside people in the town and I think becoming a Reader will open up other opportunities to support people.”

See more photos from the service over on our Facebook page:


Page last updated: Monday 11th September 2023 5:36 PM

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