This week we meet Ruth Simpson who serves at St Mark's Haydock
Bishop Richard recently licensed 16 new Readers, who now serve across the Diocese of Liverpool. Many of them have chosen to share their stories with us.
Ruth has lived and worked (as a health visitor) and worshipped in Haydock for most of her life.
Ruth said, “In St Mark’s church I have enjoyed a variety of roles from church cleaner to assistant warden but although I had been leading services and preaching for a number of years, I felt challenged to a period of study and decided on the Reader’s course.
“I am particularly interested in exploring creative prayer and fresh expressions of church. I am also excited about finding ways of enabling people to experience their own spirituality and know that the God of creation is exactly there - in His creation and not just in a building, behind closed doors.”
Being a Reader takes three years of study and is an important part of the work of the Church of England. Readers are involved in many types of church work including teaching, preaching, leading certain services and helping the local vicar with the worship at the church. Readers are very often in work and as active members of the community bring a fresh perspective to the local church. For some, it is the first step to ordination.
The Diocese of Liverpool is one of the leading dioceses in the country for the support and development of Readers, with over 280 carrying out an active ministry. These take a variety of forms including a reader who is Chaplain to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and others who are chaplains in prisons or who run churches in schools.