Christine Clarke

Licenced Lay Minister

As a Licensed Lay Minister, or ‘Reader’ in old money terms, I am one of approximately 160 LLM’s in the Diocese of Worcester. We are theology trained, in pastoral, mission and the ministry, which enables us to offer a wide variety of the ministry of the Word, in preaching, teaching, worship and Chaplaincy, according to each individual’s gifts and calling. An LLM is nationally accredited and licensed by the Bishop. We work alongside, and with the grace of the Priest, and are committed to minister in partnership with our Priest, lay colleagues and continue to grow in faith. I was licensed in 2012 and in 2019 I had the joy and privilege to have my license transferred to the 4Rivers group of Churches.

Well, that’s a summary of the official role of a Reader, but probably tells you very little about me. I am a lifelong Anglican, and I have many happy childhood and adult memories of church life and church community, our Christian love for one another, our support for one another, our grace in forgiveness, our myriad of flaws (mine included) our joys and our sorrows, our commitment to welcome all in the name of Christ, and engage with our wider communities through the love of Christ. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? And, perhaps it ought to be, but in truth it isn’t, because the church is made up of all kinds of people, all different, all with varying views and interpretations of scripture and what ‘faith’ means to them, but the one and overriding element that holds us all together is the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. For me, I am rooted in the Trinitarian God, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), I strive to live in the image of Christ, that’s not a physical two arms, two legs kind of image, but an image of love, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion towards all and to live my life dedicated to Christ. Now, that sounds rather grand which is why I prefaced it with ‘strive’ because, in truth, I don’t always get it right. And that’s sort of okay, because God does not require any of us to be perfect, Jesus is the only perfect one.

So, if you are someone who is not perfect, but striving or wishing to be the better you God wishes for you, then come and join us, you’ll be right at home!