We meet our new readers licenced in 2016 in a series of interviews exploring what called them to Reader Ministry.
Q. Why do you think reader ministry is important?
It enables Readers to take the Christian message out further afield, for example into their workplaces, which are usually outside of their parishes. I serve in a United Benefice with two busy churches Newchurch, Culcheth and Christ Church, Croft. As a Reader and part of the ministry team, I can also assist in caring for those within our church family and surrounding villages.
Q. Where are you from originally, and have you lived/worked elsewhere?
I was born and grew up in the village of Culcheth, near Warrington and I now live in nearby Glazebury. My home church, Newchurch, is the church that I attended as I child where I was baptised, confirmed and a member of the Sunday School. I left home at 18 to study chemistry. Through my studies and research posts in atmospheric pollution I’ve lived in Bradford, Loughborough, Leeds, Norwich, Frankfurt in Germany and Birmingham. When I got married, my husband was serving in the Royal Air Force where we lived in Wiltshire and I worked as a scientist for the Ministry of Defence at that time. We moved to Glazebury about 15 years ago and I now work in Manchester as an Analytical Chemist measuring occupational exposure to chemicals in the workplace.
Q. Was your interest in reader ministry gradual, or something you knew you have always wanted to do?
For me it was gradual. Seven years ago, sadly I lost my baby son due to an illness and it was shortly after this time that I became more involved again at Newchurch. I served for several years in various practical roles but felt an increasing call to serve God in other ways especially after travelling to The Holy Land with Bishop Richard in 2013 on the Diocesan Pilgrimage. I discussed Reader Ministry with my then incumbent and was also encouraged by our ordained local minister and after about 12 months I made an application and was accepted for training.
Q. What roles did you hold in church before your licensing?
I was a Churchwarden for nearly three years before I started my Reader training. I was involved in the day to day running of the church and was also part of various committees and groups, including the PCC.
Q. Do you have an interest in a particular kind of ministry, and how would you like to develop this?
As well as leading worship regularly, I am also interested in pastoral care. I was fortunate during my training that my external placements were spent at a church with a strong background of pastoral care and I also spent some time with hospital, hospice and airport chaplains. At present, I take holy communion into a local care home each month and would like to assist more with home and hospital visits within the parishes. I have recently, along with colleagues begun a new service to reach out to those who have had a bereavement and have just started training in funeral ministry at my churches. I am a member of Christians in Science (CiS) national group. During the past year I have helped a colleague and friend with several science and faith talks as part of all age services at the cathedral and in the Winwick Deanery which were very well received. I hope to continue to promote these science and faith links as a Reader, especially with young people.
Q. Do you have any interesting hobbies?
My hobbies are musical. When I can, I am part of the bell ringing team at our church tower, calling people to worship through music. I play the piano in a music group, playing worship songs and other popular music at various village services and events.