Meet our new Deacons - Alison Shaw

This week we meet Alison Shaw who serves at Ormskirk Parish Church.

In July, Bishop Richard ordained 17 new Deacons, all of whom will serve in parishes across the Diocese of Liverpool.

They have each agreed to share the stories of their path to ordination with us.
This week we meet Alison Shaw who serves at Ormskirk Parish Church.

Alison Shaw

Alison, 45, was born in Zimbabwe and came to England aged eight. Alison was a nurse for 20 years, working in palliative and terminal care. Whilst nursing, she took an interest in prison ministry and volunteered as a prison visitor ten years ago, eventually becoming a lay chaplain at Hindley Prison.

It was whilst in her role as a lay chaplain that she felt called to ordained ministry. Alison is married to Neil, and they have four children in their teens and early twenties.

It was a chance meeting with Bishop James that first encouraged Alison to consider ordination. “My husband is ordained, and we were at an event with Bishop James, who, upon hearing about my work in the prison, asked me if I had ever considered ordination. This really made me think hard. I had thought about other careers in the justice sector but I realised that I very much wanted to focus on pastoral care. In my role as a lay chaplain in a prison I could prepare a prisoner for baptism, but I couldn’t conduct it. I realised that I wanted to be fully involved in the pastoral care of others. With this in mind, I decided to go forward for ordination.”

Alison says that she felt drawn to Ormskirk Parish Church because of its supportive atmosphere, “To me, ministry is about people, and I am looking forward to meeting and working with the people of Ormskirk. I have been fully welcomed by those I have already met. I hope that my previous pastoral experience will help me on a number of levels. I am also interested in new ways of being church and I think that Ormskirk is a great place to be to explore that.”