TWO Licensed Lay Ministers (LLM) from Worcester and Malvern said they were called to serve their parishes, after being licensed at Worcester Cathedral.
Alison Martin will serve in the benefices of Hanley Castle, Hanley Swan and Welland, and Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome and Strensham and Nick Stephens will serve in the benefice of Warndon St Nicholas.
Nick said he came to the Church of England from a non-conformist church in 2012 and undertook a number of roles, journeying from churchwarden to lay preacher in an Ecumenical Partnership.
“In this I discovered a calling for some form of vocation within the church.”
He said he was especially looking forward to the teaching and preaching role of a reader and taking the message of Christ out into the community.
Former infant teacher Alison lives and worships in Welland, Malvern and is married with two adult children.
She has been an LLM worship leader in her group of rural churches for eight years, and also providing music for services.
“I felt a calling to further ministry a few years ago and was led to train as a Reader.
“Training has been a challenge, but tremendously fulfilling, both in the academic learning, fellowship with other students, and particularly in what I learnt about myself and my own faith and calling.”
The LLMs undergo a two-year training course before being admitted to the role and receiving their Certificate in Higher Education by the University of Durham.
After being licensed they carry out a wide range of tasks within their parishes and beyond, especially helping others to reflect on their faith and how it relates to their daily lives.
The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, conducted the service, licensing six LLMs in total.
Bishop John said: “Lay Ministers play a very important role in our churches, sharing their faith with others and serving them in God’s name.”
The preacher at the service was the Rt Rev Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, who is also Bishop for Readers in the Church of England.
During the ceremony he spoke on the subject of leadership and the importance of working in partnership.