The new Readers, with the parishes in which they will serve, are:
- Margaret Cooper will serve in Mowbray Deanery in the parishes of Brompton, Deighton, Welbury and the Rountons.
As a vicar’s daughter and a vicar’s wife she has lived her life in
houses lined with theological books, but never expected she’d actually
want to read them!
After a career in Mental health nursing and as a
Franciscan tertiary Margaret was praying on retreat and John 1 verse 39
spoke to her about staying with Jesus for the rest of the day.
semi-retired from nursing though working two days a week in the Memory
Service, Margaret is a chaplaincy volunteer for her local hospital
(although we are not yet back there after COVID).
“I have been
hugely supported by the congregations of the benefices, York School of
Ministry, my husband (who has also been my training incumbent) and by
God our Father.
“I thank them all and my prayer for the future is in Psalm 71 verse 18.”
- John Edmond retired as a Solicitor after 38 years in 2018 and moved to Beverley with his wife Jill the following year.
had started Reader Training at Leicester Cathedral in September 2018
and transferred to York School of Ministry in December 2020, completing
his training at the Beverley Hub. As a Reader he will continue to serve
as a member of the Ministry Team at St Mary’s, Beverley.
grew up in Hull in a close-knit and caring family who had little money.
For a long time I have felt God calling me to help the poor, those in
need and disadvantaged in life.
“My hopes and prayers are to
bring the invitation to be part of the God’s kingdom to all who wish to
hear the good news; that they may experience the embrace of His love,
compassion and mercy.
“I want to develop, through my Ministry, my spirituality, commitment to prayer and service and glory of God.”
- Paula Evans
works as a teacher for the Schools Music Service, delivering music
lesson to pupils across the East Riding. She is also a Foundation
governor and works regularly with three Church schools within the
Deanery. Paula has completed her initial training for Reader Ministry
with the York School of Ministry and will serve in Skirlaugh, Catwick, Long Riston, Rise, Swine with Ellerby and Sigglesthorne with Nunkeeling and Bewholme.
- Christine Fairless will serve at St Cuthbert's, Wilton-in-Cleveland;
while she doesn't know when she first recognised her faith, she was
always encouraged and supported and took on various roles and
responsibilities in her church. Following a fallow period of some years
she found the desire to return to church had been niggling for some time
but Christine didn’t know where to worship.
"Then one afternoon
six years ago I attended the graveside funeral of my neighbour. After
the committal and on the way back to my car I noticed that the door of
St Cuthbert’s Church was open, and I was given a gentle nudge to go in. I
immediately felt that this was the right place and returned for the
Sunday service a few days later. I am thankful to God for that nudge and
for all the love, support and fellowship shown to me by every-one
Christine's hopes and prayers for the future are that
"Whatever I do in the parish or further afield, I may show and live
God’s love and be guided by His will."
- Elizabeth Furnell,
born of a Christian family and now in her seventh decade, is still
praying and still praising. She is a widow “with three wonderful
daughters and three gorgeous grandchildren”.
“I worship and serve at St Cuthbert’s church Ormesby.
Together with a group of talented ladies we visited residential homes
for the elderly for a short service and sing-along; visits were stopped
It was during her service in the homes that
Elizabeth felt called to be a reader: “Bringing the love of Christ to
those who were unable to attend church was humbling.
course was hard and I thank all who helped me on my journey; I pray to
serve God and the church as long as I am able. “
- Pauline Giddings will serve at St Mark’s, Newby (Scarborough).
She trained as a Recognised Parish Assistant (RPA), but felt that this
pastoral role continued shaping and challenging her faith.
tried to ignore the times that I felt I was being called realising that
it’s impossible to ignore God, finally acknowledging that God’s been
‘nagging me’ for some time. So I finally decided to listen, give in and
follow his plan for me!”
Pauline is a semi-retired registered
nurse, having worked in different areas of healthcare throughout her
career. Married to James, they have three children and four beautiful
Two years into study with York School of Ministry,
Pauline applied for Reader training; she says she’s enjoyed all the
studying and her faith has become much deeper.
“I hope and pray that my ministry will flourish in the community and in pastoral care.”
- Liz Russell will serve at St Helen’s church, Welton,
where she’s worshipped for the last 36 years. She has been involved in
Children’s ministry and now leads Messy Church, while enjoying study
groups and becoming an RPA worship leader.
Liz had always felt
called to be a teacher and taught maths in secondary schools, dropping
to two days a week at the age of 60 and beginning to study with York
School of Ministry. Two years in, she could not ignore the call to
Reader ministry. Now fully retired from teaching, she is still
studying, looking after her grandchild and involved in activities at
“As a Reader in training, preaching has been my new
challenge and I have learnt to trust that the Holy Spirit will intervene
to transform what I read on a Monday into a sermon by Sunday.”
- Dean Smahon will serve in the Parish of Rural Ainsty,
west of York. Married with two young children, Dean has a passion for
mission and evangelism, particularly within Rural communities, and he
will take a principal role in developing and leading a new service at
the local agricultural college.
Additionally, five existing readers who have moved from other dioceses will be licensed to serve in the Diocese of York:
- Allison Dean will serve as Senior Site Chaplain for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Ian Fletcher will serve in Rudston, Boynton, Carnaby, Kilham, Burton Fleming with Fordon, Grindale and Wold Newton (East Yorkshire)
- Michael Udeagbara will serve at St Martin with The Transfiguration, Hull
- Martin Bailes will serve at St Edward the Confessor, Dringhouses (York)
- Gareth Denby will minister in the Benefice of Derwent Ings (Wheldrake, Thorganby, Elvington, Sutton-on-Derwent and East Cottingwith, south of York)