The parish of St Luke in the City is to welcome Sara Doyle as a new deacon. Sara was one of eleven new deacons ordained by the Bishop of Liverpool at Liverpool Cathedral on July 1st.
Sara will work across the churches of St Luke’s, St Brides, St Stephens, St. Dunstan’s and St Michael’s. Sara will balance her ministry alongside her job with a charity which provides support to those who are homeless and in housing need in Liverpool and Merseyside.
Sara says she hadn’t even thought of ordination when Bishop James suggested the possibility to her whilst she was at St John’s (now Kensington All Saints). “I was quite taken aback, and I had to go home and look it up to make sure I understood exactly what that meant!” says Sara.
Sara says she went through a three year process of thinking about ordination. Sara says starting training was a big learning curve, “I had read the Bible in church, been on the PCC and led home groups but I hadn’t led many services, preached, or been a Reader like some of the others on the course". However, I felt that I had to trust in what others saw as my gifts, and trust that God would not ask me to do this without equipping me with the skills I would need ".
During the course, Sara suffered a serious breakdown and subsequently had to take a year out. “Life in general got on top of me. I suffered with depression and anxiety but had fantastic support from my husband, friends and church. I would not say that I am ‘mended’ but I have learned to manage it, and my experience has made me passionate about letting people know they can be vocal about mental health.
“Having experienced it, I now realise how important it is to be open about mental health issues. It also gave me a true insight into the challenges faced by many of the people I support in my work.” Sara says she is “passionate” about raising awareness of mental health issues and is looking forward to how this could be developed in her ministry and has a real heart for the homes less and marginalised within our society.”
Sara says that her experience and time away from the course also meant that she had to think afresh about her ministry and after much reflection decided upon NSM, which meant that she continue in her work. When the opportunity to work with the St Luke’s in the City Team came up she was delighted. "As a parish, it looks at new and creative ways in which to engage with God and as I am very supportive of the LGBT community and interested in social justice, working within this team seemed ideal".
Sara added, “I believe in meeting people wherever they are at, on their terms, "bidden or not bidden God is present, and my prayer and heart's desire is that I will see hope and potential in others whatever, just as God and others saw hope and potential in me, whatever!"
Are you feeling called?
LifeCall - a one-stop vocations event - takes place at Liverpool Cathedral on 29th September. It has been designed to help you discover your Christian vocation whatever that may be