Bishop of Lichfield commissions new lay ministers

Nineteen people from across the Midlands have been commissioned as lay ministers by the Bishop of Lichfield at a special service.

The Bishop of Lichfield has commissioned 19 new lay ministers for the diocese.
The Bishop of Lichfield has commissioned 19 new lay ministers for the diocese.

The new ministers will take up roles as Readers in church communities across the Diocese of Lichfield which covers Staffordshire, most of Shropshire and the Black Country.

They were admitted to office by The Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave at a special service at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday, September 4.

Readers are lay people who have been selected, trained and licensed by the Church of England to teach the faith and to be leaders in church and society.

The diocese says that working together with clergy colleagues "they play their part in encouraging the whole people of God to grow in confidence in proclaiming God’s kingdom".

The Revd Canon Liz Shercliff, Director of Studies for Readers in the Diocese of Chester, preached at the service, which was the first of its kind since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic.

Bishop Michael said: “Readers are a vital part of the ministry of the whole people of God so it was excellent to be able to admit these 19 lay people into new areas of ministry.

“They have had to be particularly resilient because of the disruption to their training – and their parishes – caused by the pandemic.

"This will stand them in good stead as they play key roles in serving their churches and communities to bring hope in the changing landscape we find ourselves in.”

Those licensed were, for the Wolverhampton Episcopal Area, Christopher Hawthorne, Chase Terrace, Chasetown and Hammerwich; Steven Croft, The Peel Parishes; Anne Grace, Aldridge; Debbie Parkes, Pleck and Bescot; Angela Partoon, Bloxwich; Andrea Treadwell, Tamworth and Clare Whitney, Central Wolverhampton.

In the Stafford Episcopal Area Alexandra Baines, Cotes Heath and Standon and Swynnerton with Tittensor; Henry Birtley, Berkswich; Ann Deavall, Betley and Madeley; Nicholas Deavall, Betley and Madeley, Yvonne Denby, Rocester, Denstone and Croxden with Hollington; Bettina Henderson, Adbaston, High Offley, Knightley, Norbury, Woodseaves, Gnosall and Moreton, Jocelyn Podmore, Caverswall and Weston Coyney with Dilhorne; Susan Thomas, Trentham; Christina Thomson, Stafford S.John the Baptist and Tixall with Ingestre.

Those licensed for the Shewsbury Episcopal Area were Thomas Currie, The Deanery of Wrockwardine, Kerry Debenham, Oakengates, Priors Lee and Wrockwardine Wood and Edward Loewendah, Newport with Longford, and Chetwynd.

To learn more about vocation visit www.lichfield.anglican.org/vocations-and-training/exploring-vocation/ or email helen.scheven@lichfield.anglican.org.

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