Marise Seville, commissioned as Local Missional Leader for St Paul, Penketh spoke to us about her new role and the challenges and opportunities it brings.
Marise’s enthusiasm for her new role comes across as she explains a little about herself.
“Retired…who mentioned that word? I’ve been given one of the biggest opportunities of my life. So if you think I’m going to retire now, you’re wrong! Sometimes God saves the best ‘til last!”
Indeed He does! Over the past two years Marise has become a Grandma, got a new cocker spaniel pup and been commissioned as Local Missional Leader for St Paul, Penketh. No mean feat at all, as she continues “I’m not quite sure which one of these holds the biggest challenge…but I love them all.”
Already deeply involved in the life of her parish for a number of years as a Reader and Worship co-ordinator, becoming a Local Missional Leader is the next step on Marise’s LifeCall journey.
“It’s a path that I didn’t dream I would tread, but the Lord knew differently it seems. [The congregation] are my people, and my joy is to see them coming into the presence of God as we worship on a Sunday and watching them growing into His will in their daily walk.”
Marise reflects on some spiritual challenges and opportunities ahead:
“To some, the world is a big empty place. Distant and cold. There are many lonely people out there, needing to know the love of God through the care of His people. I may not be able to change the world but I can make a difference to some.
I believe that God has called me to the older and lonely people. He has positioned me within ‘The Oaks Centre’, which is the Community Centre bought and run by St Paul’s folk. I infiltrate the centre by masquerading as an administrative helper, which is a great way to get to know everyone.
I lead a choir there too, in the evening called ‘Singing 4 Pleasure’ where we laugh as much as we sing.
There are now equally as many new-comers as there are church people and all have happily joined in at Christmas events, and they even sang during my commissioning service. Wonderful!
Yes, we enjoy singing along to Abba, or Pachelbel’s canon but better by far is the sense of caring for one another and interest in each other’s lives.”
Finally, we asked Marise how becoming Local Missional Leader has made a difference to her role within the parish.
“This is difficult to answer and is evolving I suspect. It has certainly given me a more focussed aim, in mission and in church life. I would say that my perspective has changed, in that now I see myself as part of a leadership team, alongside the clergy, to grow disciples who will grow disciples.”