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?
Reader ministry is important because it supports and works alongside ordained ministry but with the freedom of being a secular role. It bridges the gap between ordained and secular. There are less formal roles and administrative requirements leaving more time to focus on preaching, pastoral work and any other specific ministries God calls us to within our daily lives.
Q. Where are you from originally, and have you lived/worked elsewhere?
I was born in London (Wansted), then spent my childhood in Epping, Essex. I worked as a medical laboratory technician until I had my children, then as a foster carer for several years before moving to Somerset. After nurse training I worked with adults with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Sadly my husband died in Somerset. On a placement in Liverpool while exploring ordination I met my present husband and moved up here nearly 5 years ago. I now work with adults with ASD.
Q. Was your interest in reader ministry gradual, or something you knew you have always wanted to do?
My interest in reader ministry began 10 years ago after a trip to our link church in Zambia on behalf of the congregation in Somerton, Somerset. It was suggested to me there that I consider reader ministry. My initial response was 'No way!' But I remembered that when my first husband became a reader several years previously, the same suggestion was posed. My reply then was 'Never!' I began to realise that perhaps God might be calling me to pursue this further.
Q. What roles did you hold in church before your licensing?
Before licensing, I was always involved in mission, both local and beyond. I have been a PCC member, on the deanery synod and led (still do) our Messy church team.
Q. Do you have an interest in a particular kind of ministry, and how would you like to develop this?
My main focus in ministry is mission and outreach, especially to those on the margins of society. My concern is for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have predominantly worked with young families and youth during my Christian life. At present I am exploring the possibility of Anna chaplaincy or something similar working with older people as I believe that God is asking me to change my focus, especially as I am looking towards retirement from secular employment.
Q. Do you have any interesting hobbies?
My hobbies are walking the dog, my main method of relaxation. Otherwise I enjoy adrenaline fuelled more extreme activities such as sailing in Scotland, zip wiring, quad biking, and anything to do with speed.