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Licensing Lay Ministers

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Thursday, 14 November 2013. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

MORE than 500 people flocked to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford to watch the licensing of 12 new Lay Ministers to serve in the Diocese of Oxford last month.

Here the Door introduces our new LLMs who have been licensed to serve alongside clergy in a wide variety of different parishes.

Our new LLMs are pictured

Beryl Packer, who is licensed to serve in Uffington, Shellingford, Woolstone and Baulking, says: "I was born in the rural area where I hope to serve as an LLM.

I am single, have had careers elsewhere in secretarial and social work and am now retired and a lay minister of our local Ministry Team.

I pray through God's grace and strength to serve Him and people here and wherever He directs. "

Diana Matthews is licensed to serve at St Mark's and All Saints, Reading.

She said : "After a long career in education, I have come to Lay Ministry rather late.

In my home parish of St Mark and All Saints Reading, I enjoy the opportunity to assist with the worship in our five care homes and five schools and to do some teaching and preaching. "

Barry Marsden, of St Peter's Burnham, said: "I am 67 and married with one adult son and one grandson.

My faith journey includes eight years as a member of The Society of St Francis.

I worship at St Peter's, Burnham where, as well as facilitating our weekly Meditation Group and taking an active part in services, I am PCC Secretary and, together with my wife, Christian Aid Organiser. "

David Blackmore, of Weston Turville, says: "'I am a 54 year old film editor, I am married with four children ranging in age from 13 to 24 and I live in Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire.

I've found the three years training for LLM inspiring and challenging and I look forward to putting it into action in ministry. "

Joan Walding, of Headington Quarry, says: "I was born in Salisbury, grew up and went to school in south east London, trained in Exmouth to teach English, Drama and Religious Education in secondary schools.

I moved to Northampton when I married and was given a job before I arrived purely on the strength of being engaged to a well-known and excellent teacher! We had two daughters and lived and worked in Northampton for almost 40 years.

My husband died in 2003 and three years later I joined my daughters and four grandchildren in Headington Quarry.

We all worship together and I am well aware of how amazing that is and how blessed I am. "

Lynne Thorogood from Old Windsor, says: "I have lived in my parish for over 20 years, and have been involved in the work of the church in a variety of roles including the choir, the PCC and as assistant verger.

I have worked in education for the whole of my professional life, as a teacher, head teacher and in teacher training as a university lecturer.

I am now also a school inspector, working for Ofsted and for SIAMS, the organisation that inspects Church of England schools.

With my new LLM role added to this, I'm going to be quite busy. "

John Hamilton, from Nash in North Buckinghamshire, says: I have been here for the last 29 years.

I am married with two adult children.

My journey to being an LLM has had a number of milestones and taking a Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies at Wycliffe Hall has been one of them. "

Shirley Bull, of Broughton, Aylesbury, says: "I enjoy preaching, leading worship and pastoral work.

I was a missionary for 27 years in DRC (Democractic Republic of Congo), first training Sunday school teachers and youth workers, then as Principal of Baringa Theological Institute.

I now work freelance as an interpreter and tutor in community interpreting. "

Stephanie Lacey is from Duns Tew in North Oxfordshire, which is in the Benefice of Duns Tew, Sandford St Martin, Steeple Barton and Westcote Barton.

She has almost retired from paid employment and has two step children, a daughter and five step grandchildren.

Ross Martin says: "I currently work as an LLM/Hon Chaplain with NHS Trust Littlemore Hospital having retired after 30 years working with both individuals and groups as both a Probation Officer and Treatment Manager with Thames Valley Probation.

I have been married to Judith for 47 years. We have 2 children, 3 fabulous grandchildren- to keep us fit and young. " Ross was featured in the 'God in the Life Of' section of the December 2012 edition of the Door.

The licensing happened as a new report was published, highlighting the success of the Oxford's training programmes for both LLMs and ordinands.

Oxford was given overall confidence for its programmes, and confidence with qualifications in a few areas.

Keith Beech-Gruneberg, Director of Local Ministry Training, said: "I'm delighted that the inspectors have recognised the high quality training the Diocese offers to LLMs, ordinands and a wide range of other lay learners.

We will of course be engaging with their recommendations over the coming months as we continue to develop the programme, not least with my national work towards the new partnership with the University of Durham. "

It also highlights the importance of the work of lay ministers as the Diocese moves into the next strand of the Living Faith vision - Shaping Confident, Collaborative Leadership, throughout 2014.

Imagining Faith LLM Conference

NEXT year's annual Licensed Lay Ministers Conference will be part of our Imagining Faith series of conferences and takes placefrom the evening of Friday 27 June to the afternoon of Sunday 29 June 29 at Milton Hill House, Steventon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AF. Speakers include Professor David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford and the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester.

Oxford Diocese's Director of Mission, the Revd Dr Michael Beasley, said David, the keynote speaker, is a Licensed Lay Minister himself as well as a "theologian of extraordinary breadth. " Michael said: "I can think of no one better qualified to engage and inspire Licensed Lay Ministers on the topic of Imagining Faith. "LLMs interested in booking should see www. oxford. anglican. org/imaginingfaith or call 01865 208251 to book or for more information.


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