Archbishop John has created some controversy with his decision to invite Readers to consider whether their ministry is really diaconal.
One of the first Readers to benefit from his decision is Pat (Patricia) Wood. Here she shares her journey with us, from Reader to Deacon. She makes the distinction between them very clear!
The Revd. Patricia Wood (known as Pat)
Ordained Deacon 11th April 2018.
Although I had always believed – Sunday School, Brownies etc. – I didn’t really ‘come to faith’ until I was 40, and struggling with an extremely difficult situation in my life. My promise to God to worship Him if He would look after me was accepted by both parties and I was confirmed in 1981- a wonderful moment in my life, when I received my first Communion, with my father at one side of me and my very best friend at the other side.
Spiritual progress was slow (on my side); I moved from Sheffield to just outside Scarborough to work as a carer in 1992 and married the love of my childhood seven years later. Eventually I offered myself to read in church and with the help of Revd Adam Reid found the voice to lead the intercessions.
Thirst for knowledge about the Bible and my faith, with the help of Revd. Ann Coleman, at the time Priest Director of Wydale, led me onto the Lay Readership Course, where I decided that perhaps I should share what I was learning. I was licensed in 2011 and was awarded my Foundation Degree the following year. The learning habit by this time had hooked me and I was awarded a BA in 2014 and have since moved onto MA studies – still in Theology and Ministry.
The possibility of ordination seemed to have passed me by after a stretch in hospital and I concentrated my efforts on what turned out to be (according to the Archbishop’s letter) a Diaconal Ministry – school assemblies, messy church, food banks, shoebox appeal, fellowship groups etc. The upshot of course being, as I began this post, my ordination to the diaconate on 11th April 2018 – made even more exciting when my vicar went ‘off sick’ only days later. God really will need to provide!!!
Diocese of York
Kingsley Garth Bolton and Patricia Wood, Readers in the Diocese of York, were ordained (Distinctive) Deacon at St Matthew’s Church, Hutton Buscel, on Wednesday 11th April 2018 by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. They are the first two people to have responded to the Archbishop’s invitation to consider whether their ministry is diaconal and to have undergone the necessary discernment process. In his address,the Archbishop said they were making history. His vision is to see a deacon in every church.
Deacon Liz Carrington said “It is good to know that anyone who feels called to a lifelong committment to the diaconate in this diocese can be assured that their voice will be heard and their call carefully considered. The ministry of deacons is valued as a significant contribution to the mission of the church, exemplifying the practical servanthood of Christ and enabling others.”
With many thanks to Liz for this groundbreaking news, and to Martin Shepphard. The photographs may be used without further permission but should be attributed to Martin Shepphard. (He is the Communications Officer in the York diocese.)