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Six new lay ministers licensed

Published: 17th September 2018

Sixpeople from parishes in the Diocese were admitted to the office of Reader onSaturday in Worcester Cathedral. The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge,conducted the service, licensing theindividuals to minister in the parishes they have been called to serve.

Readers in the serviceReadersare trained and licensed lay ministers in the Church of England authorised inparticular to exercise a ministry of preaching and teaching. They undergoa two-year training course before being admitted to the role, which ends withthe award of a Certificate in Higher Education by the University of Durham. Afterbeing licensed they carry out a wide range of tasks within their parishes andbeyond, especially helping others to reflect on their faith and how it relatesto their daily lives.

Thoseadmitted and licensed were:

  • Fiona Carter whowill serve in the benefices of Bowbrook North, and Stoke Prior, Wychbold andUpton Warren
  • Vikki Day, who willbe admitted and licensed as a Reader and who will continue to serve asStourport Deanery Mission Developer.
  • Roger King, who willserve in the benefice of Oldswinford, Stourbridge St Mary
  • Alison Martin, whowill serve in the benefices of Hanley Castle, Hanley Swan and Welland, andUpton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome w Hill Croome & Strensham
  • Mary Phillips whowill serve in the benefice of Amblecote Holy Trinity
  • Nick Stephens, whowill serve in the benefice of Warndon St Nicholas

Bishop John said: LayMinisters play a very important role in our churches, sharing their faith withothers and serving them in God's name. I was delighted to be able to license thesesix people to this very important role.

Bishop Martyn Snow preachingThe preacher at the servicewas the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester who is also Bishop for Readersin the Church of England. Bishop Martyn spoke on the subject of leadership and theimportance of working in partnership, saying: As lay ministers in Gods Church,you are called as followers of Jesus Christ to put the interests of the leastat the heart of all you do, to work together and to be leaders for others.

The service took place in WorcesterCathedral on Saturday afternoon.

See the photos from the service

Quotes from theCandidates:

Fiona Carter (BowbrookNorth, and Stoke Prior, Wychbold and Upton Warren)

Fiona CarterIam a trained nurse and a mother of four children, three of them are now grownup. I am a grandmother of two, a little girl who I look after two days a weekwith my husband, and a little boy who I will be looking after one day a weekfrom December. I am really looking forward to working as an LLM under theleadership of my incumbent. I am already on the rota doing various things frompreaching to taking the deacons role at Holy Communion in the churches I willbe licensed to. I am looking forward to continuing this ministry, but alsobeing used in other ways as well, while building on and consolidating what Ihave learned. I really enjoyed my time at Queens particularly the variety ofservices held in the chapel. I also appreciated learning with and from theother students at Queens but particularly those on my course.

Vikki Day (StourportDeanery)

Vikki DayAsMission Developer for Stourport Deanery, I see my role in its broadest sense asenabling people to be who God is calling them to be and to flourish in theirmission and ministry wherever that may be.I look forward to being a LLM because it has and will continue to enablemy ministry to develop as I contribute to the life of the Church: in developingrelationships with people through leading worship and preaching as well asbeing a bridge between those who dont come to Sunday worship and theChurch.I really enjoyed the practicalelements of my training such as learning to preach, lead & developdifferent types of worship and take Home Communion.It has been an enriching time; where I haveencountered a deepening relationship with God and the people with whom Iminister.

Roger King (St Mary,Oldswinford)

Roger KingIretired in 2015 after 35 years working as a forensic scientist. What I mostenjoyed about the Reader training was being part of a community at Queens thatworks, eats and prays together. I am looking forward to combining mytheological training with my scientific knowledge to help improve peoplesunderstanding of science and religion, and to demonstrate that being aChristian does not involve abandoning rational thinking.

Alison Martin (HanleyCastle, Hanley Swan and Welland, and Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome wHill Croome & Strensham)

Alison MartinIlive and worship in Welland, Malvern, Im married and have two adult children.Having originally been an infant teacher I now teach flute and piano. I havebeen an ALM Worship Leader in our group of rural churches for 8 years, and alsoprovide music for services. Alongside this, I lead childrens outreach in ourlocal school. I felt a calling to further ministry a few years ago and was ledto train as a Reader. Training has been a challenge, but tremendouslyfulfilling, both in the academic learning, fellowship with other students, andparticularly in what I learnt about myself and my own faith and calling. I amlooking forward to developing my ministry in my community expressing Gods lovein my Church and Parishes through leading worship and in caring for the peoplearound me.

Mary Phillips (HolyTrinity, Amblecote)

Mary PhillipsMarriedto Dewi for almost nine years, I have four children from my previous marriageand six grandchildren.At various timesI have worked as a shop assistant, auxiliary nurse in a hospice, teacher andGerman translator.Throughout my life,God has called me to various forms of ministry and service.Sometimes I followed the call; many times Iignored it because I knew what I wanted to do, but something always turned meback to Gods plan.Consequently, tenyears after retiring from paid employment, once again I find myself startingnew work, which pulls together many threads from my past life.The training at Queens has been verychallenging, and Ive learnt so much from my fellow students as well as thededicated academic staff.Now Imparticularly looking forward to developing our parishs work with children andyoung families, as well as leading worship and preaching.

Nick Stephens (StNicholas, Warndon)

Nick StephensIcame to the Church of England from a non-conformist church in 2012, and rapidlyfound roles being thrust in my direction, from churchwarden, to lay preacher inan Ecumenical Partnership. (All within a vacancy!) In this I discovered acalling for some form of vocation within the church. The arrival of a newincumbent helped me find a more formal authorisation, which came through adiscernment for Readership. The course at Queens was brilliant, andintellectually demanding, but opened my mind to many different ways ofperceiving what I had previously seen as a simple truth. I especially enjoyedthe modules on church history, and on the formation of the doctrines that makethe church what it is today. Going forward into lay ministry, I am especiallylooking forward to the teaching and preaching role of a reader, and taking themessage of Christ out into the community.



The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516
Page last updated: Friday 3rd July 2020 5:00 PM

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