On Saturday 30 September we celebrated Lay Ministry at Peterborough Cathedral with a day dedicated to all our Lay Ministers. Time was spent in fellowship and worship and there were seminars which included looking at ministering to all ages through Growing Faith principles and Anna Chaplaincy as well as focal ministry, church growth, poverty and how to make the most of the opportunity of Christmas.
Lay ministry is vital in our diocese as a way to support and nurture the mission of the church in all of its different forms. As Bishop John said; ‘Every Christian is a member of the body of Christ seeking to do His work and bring His kingdom here on earth. We all have our part to play, everybody matters and lay ministry is the way we can express our togetherness in that mission’.
The day was an opportunity to share knowledge and gain new understanding as well as catch up with friends and explore different areas that Lay Ministers can become involved in. The Christians Against Poverty organisation, the Bishop’s Charity for 2023, led a workshop on how to run their life skills course to support some of the most vulnerable in the community to gain confidence and abilities to help them lead a more fulfilled and economically viable lifestyle at the same time as teaching them the good news of Jesus.
Mark Lucas, one of the Wardens of Lay Ministry, led a workshop on how to teach the true meaning of Christmas and said; ‘It’s great to be here today at a very important and significant day for the diocese. Lay Ministers fulfill a very important role in parishes and we clergy couldn’t manage without them. We all have an important part to play at Christmas as most of the year we spend a lot of time trying to encourage people to come into our churches but at Christmas they come without invitation. It’s a great opportunity to talk to them and we need to make the most of it’.
As part of the day, Bishop John licensed ten new Lay Ministers. We welcome them and pray for the benefices in which they will serve.
Rebecca Barnes – Yardley Hastings, Denton and Grendon with Castle Ashby and Whiston
Dawn Bell – Wollaston with Strixton and Bozeat and Easton Maudit
Matt Croxon – Whitefriars, Rushden
Ray Douglas – Northampton St Matthew
Helen Honeywell – Guilsborough and Hollowell and Cold Ashby and Cottesbrooke with Great Creaton and Thornby and Ravensthorpe and Spratton
Jan Jones – Kings Heath
Vicki Kelly – Walgrave with Hannington and Old and Scaldwell
Stuart Pedley – Peterborough St Mary
Julia Willmott – Hardingstone, Piddington with Horton and Quinton and Preston Deanery (The Living Brook Benefice)
Karen Woolley – Whitefriars, Rushden