As you may have seen, on Saturday (4th July 2020) the Rt Revd Dr David Court (Bishop of Grimsby and Acting Bishop of Lincoln) licensed 13 people to serve as Licensed Lay Workers during a special online service (a news item and also a link to a recording of the service may be found here).

On a day when we would once have anticipated gathering in worship and celebration at a service of ordination, this service admitted and licensed people from around the diocese for ministry, ahead of their ordination as a deacon later in the year.

As we look forward to that further special occasion, we thought that we would maintain our custom (which is usually to be found in the pages of Crosslincs magazine each year) of offering a special welcome and encouraging all in the diocese to pray for these people.

So, here we have an opportunity to hear from our newly licensed Lay Workers, as they share with us something of their background, their sense of God’s call and their experience of theological training.


Jane Foster-Smith
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Welton and Dunholme with Scothern

I come from Walsall in the West Midlands. I got a degree in French and German, married my husband, Matt, and we had our first two children in Cambridge. The third was born in France, where we lived for 10 years. We returned to England nine years ago to be closer to family living in Lincolnshire. I have been an English as a Second Language and French teacher, a Parish Administrator, a Cub Scout Leader and Open the Book Team Leader. I have also trained part-time for three years with St Hild College, where I was stretched and formed through theological study and being part of a large, diverse community. I love the outdoors: camping, walking, cycling and wild swimming.

I’m really looking forward to being part of a team ministering in our new home among the communities of Welton, Dunholme and Scothern. I long to see growth through working with all generations.


 

Lynne Hawkins
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Horncastle Group

I have just moved to Horncastle with my family, and I am very excited to be taking up the post of stipendiary curate in the Horncastle Group of Parishes.  My husband, Ant, is a postman, and three of our five children live at home, Harry, Hermione and Jenson.

I have lived and worshipped in Lincolnshire most of my life, and we moved to Horncastle from Coningsby, where I have been an authorised lay minister since 2009. Music is a huge passion of mine, and one of the highlights is having the honour of being part of an album recording for the Women’s Institute at Abbey Road Studios!

I am looking forward to singing new and exciting songs as I begin my ministry here in Horncastle, seeing what God’s plans are for me in this different time of being Church and becoming part of the community in this wonderful town.

 

 

Liz Johnson
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefices of Messingham, Scotter with East Ferry and Scotton with Northorpe

I originate from a village in the Staffordshire Moorlands and am married to Steve, who is also ordained. We have three children, Thomas, Andrew and Hannah, and an energetic young labrador. Originally, I trained as a secondary teacher of Religious Education at The College of Ripon and York St John, and I have been a Head of Department in three schools and an Assistant Head of Year 11.

My interest in children and young people has continued by working with the national Messy Church network, setting up ‘The Mini Messy Church’, introducing families with preschool children to faith. During ordination training at The Lincoln School of Theology I produced a project considering the possibilities baptism offers to the Church with young families.

Working as part of a team growing disciples made a profound mark on my life and led me to answering God’s call to ordination. I am excited about what God has in store in the next part of the journey alongside the parishes of Messingham, Scotter, Scotton and Northorpe, where I will serve my stipendiary curacy.


Kath Pickering
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln Swallowbeck St George

Born in Canada, I moved to the UK in 1995 with my husband (who was also Canadian) for our ‘destination wedding’ in Cumbria in the church my great-grandparents had been married in. Having decided to live in the UK for a year or two, God clearly had longer-term plans, and we stayed. Now widowed, I have two children, Abi and Caleb. When we have time off we enjoy exploring new places, LEGO and all things ‘sci-fi and geeky’.

I previously worked in publishing and set up Liberti magazine for Christian women. Having always felt a call to ministry, my vocation with the Church of England became clear when we joined St Swithin’s. Following a foundation year at Lincoln School of Theology, I trained full-time contextually for two years at St Hild College.

I am thrilled to join the team at St George’s Lincoln, and help pioneer the next season of Church in this unique point of history!


 

Jon Speirs-Davies
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Skirbeck Holy Trinity

Born in the USA in Chicago, I also lived in the Bible Belt. I was baptised in a lake, played Minor League, had a near-death experience, and was home schooled.

At the age of 12 I moved to Lincolnshire and attended De Aston School in Market Rasen. Travelling in Australia reawakened my desire for God. Studying philosophy at Leeds while exploring faith was incredibly formative.

I met Bethan at Alive Church and we later helped re-plant at St Swithin’s. The whisper I had always heard was here nurtured into a clear call.

I trained at the uniquely ecumenical St Hild College while Bethan and I began fostering. Studying while locked down was challenging but it has acclimatised me for future ministry. Holy Trinity and Boston are fantastic, and I look forward to the marks we will leave on each other.

 

 

Teena Twelves
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Nettleham

A ‘Lincolnshire lass’ born in Louth, I grew up in the county, living in Sutton-on-Sea, Boston and then Swineshead, where my family lived until I was in my thirties. On leaving Boston High School I studied European Law at Exeter and Aix-en-Provence Universities, then went to Bath with a research placement in Brussels for my MSc.

I met my husband while working in local government in Wiltshire, a career I pursued for nearly 20 years. In 2003 we moved to Lincolnshire. I returned to church in 2011, worshipping in the Heckington and Helpringham Group of Parishes, where my vocation to ordained ministry was nurtured and encouraged.

Our two sons became cathedral choristers, and we moved to Lincoln in 2016, where I started work as the Co-ordinator for the Lincoln Street Pastors. During this time I trained at the Lincoln School of Theology, where I will be continuing my studies towards a BA.

We are delighted to be moving to Nettleham, where I can further explore my passion for liturgy, music and social action as I continue my training.

  

Michelle Webb
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln St Giles

I was born in Branston and have subsequently lived, studied and worked in Lincolnshire to date. It is a wonderful part of the country, and my husband, Stephen, and children Rachel, Emily, Hannah and Samuel especially enjoy trips to the Lincolnshire coast.

While training to be a teacher at Bishop Grosseteste College I spent several years working as a trampoline coach until taking up my first teaching post in Gainsborough. During my career I was passionate about teaching the youngest children, enabling high-quality RE provision and co-ordinating support for children with additional needs. Outside of the classroom I spent 10 years as a Scout Leader and also became increasingly involved in children and families ministry at my local church in Nettleham. It was during this time that I felt a call to ordained ministry.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train contextually with St Hild College and particularly valued being part of the eco-team there. I am passionate about ethical living, social justice and care for creation and am also part of the Lincoln Faith and the Environment group. I am delighted that I will serve within the parish of St Giles and look forward to being part of all that God has in store there in the coming years. 


Ross Copley
Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln All Saints

I was born and grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne. I read History at university, before moving to Essex for three years for work and to spend a year in postgraduate study focusing on Anglo-American relations in the mid-20th century. I made a further move to Leicester in 2012, where I met my wife, Victoria, who is training to be a British Sign Language Interpreter.

During my time in Leicester I discerned my vocation to ordained ministry and was recommended for training in 2017. I trained at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where I read Theology, with a particular interest in Christian ethics. And wrote a thesis on the Great War padre, preacher and poet Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy, who is more affectionately known as ‘Woodbine Willie’. This allowed me to combine my love of History and Theology.

I am really excited about joining the diocese, coming to live in such an historic city and to serving the parish of Lincoln All Saints, which already feels like home.

Starting a new chapter of ministry in the current circumstances is going to be immensely challenging, but I draw particular strength from the example of the saints in whose footsteps we tread, and I’m hopeful for the great opportunity it gives the Church to engage with communities afresh.


Helen Eke
Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Carr Dyke Group

I originate from a market town in Nottinghamshire, but I have lived the majority of my life in Lincolnshire, growing up in Spalding and moving to Kirkby on Bain, near Woodhall Spa, 10 years ago. I am married to Doug and have two children, both of whom are still at home!

My working career has been varied, from working in the newspaper industry, car industry, education sector and the sports and fitness industry. I am passionate about sports, and I have been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. I still compete at a Masters level with Louth Dolphins, and I am currently employed to teach children and adults to swim at the glorious outdoor swimming pool at Woodhall Spa.

I am incredibly excited to be joining The Carr Dyke Group to serve my curacy. I am looking forward to these next few years of being part of the ministry team and community, discovering with them the plans that God has for us all.


Barbara Manterfield
Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Grantham, Harrowby with Londonthorpe

I grew up in Bristol. After studying Archaeology at Newcastle University, I obtained my Teaching Certificate at Exeter University, where I met my husband, John, who is Grantham born. 

I taught in a large comprehensive school for eight years in the East End of London, before moving to Hampshire in 1989 when John became Deputy Principal of a large Further Education College at which I taught Classics and Adult Literacy. We also attended a vibrant church plant for 24 years. In 2013 we retired to Grantham.

We have three children, all of whom are now married, and we have recently become grandparents, which is great fun!

I was privileged to train at Lincoln School of Theology. As an ordained local minister, I am incredibly excited to be returning to my sending parish to take up my curacy. I look forward to discovering what plans God has for us all to join in with, in these interesting times.


 

Julie Miles
Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Frodingham and New Brumby

I have lived in Crowle for 20 years with my husband Graham and our dog, Vale.

I was baptised and raised in the Church of England and over the years I have been involved in a variety of church activities for children and young people. My passion for empowering young people to achieve their potential led me train as a teacher, and I am now the Subject Leader for Religious Education at the St Lawrence Academy (Scunthorpe). I have been part of its exciting journey since it became a Church of England Academy.

I studied at the Lincoln School of Theology, and once ordained I will continue to teach at the academy as a Minister in Secular Employment.

I am excited about joining the people of St Lawrence’s Frodingham and All Saints New Brumby, and I am looking forward to discovering what it is that God is calling me to do in both parish and the academy.


Lynne Smith
Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Clee, Cleethorpes St Aidan and Cleethorpes St Francis

I was born and bred in Grimsby, and most of my working life has been spent accompanying adults who, for different reasons, find life’s journey particularly challenging.

Despite having a very popular surname I have a very small family. I am blessed with a wonderful brother and a circle of friends who enrich my life in many ways.

I am called to the Permanent Diaconate and I am hugely excited about getting to know the people in the four churches and communities in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, where I will serve my curacy, and working alongside them.

During my three years at The Lincoln School of Theology I was given many opportunities to develop this diaconal calling and I produced a liturgy for the survivors of domestic abuse and a virtual prayer walk looking at the ways in which we compromise creation.

I enjoy walking, gardening, reading and watching Korean drama; I have a passion for subtitles!


The full list of those licensed on Saturday is published below, and the remaining profile will be added to this page in the coming days.


Jane Foster-Smith –
 Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Welton and Dunholme with Scothern

Lynne Hawkins – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Horncastle Group

Liz Johnson – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefices of Messingham, Scotter with East Ferry and Scotton with Northorpe

Kath Pickering – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln Swallowbeck St George

Jon Speirs-Davies – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Skirbeck Holy Trinity

Teena Twelves – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Nettleham

Michelle Webb – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln St Giles

Ross Copley – Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln All Saints

Helen Eke – Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Carr Dyke Group

Lisa Hughes – Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Ness Group

Barbara Manterfield – Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Grantham, Harrowby with Londonthorpe

Julie Miles – Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Frodingham and New Brumby

Lynne Smith – Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefices of Clee, Cleethorpes St Aidan and Cleethorpes St Francis

This story was originally published on 6th July 2020.