THE ministerial team at Christ Church, Denton, with St George’s, Dane Bank, has grown substantially this year.
Vivienne Crosby and Pat Tansley have both successfully completed the 12-month Foundation for Ministry course.
And Pauline Howarth, wife of minister Rev Miles Howarth, has been commissioned to exercise the ALM (Authorised Lay Ministry) Ministry of Worship.
She had previously completed the Foundation of Ministry course and currently also offers pastoral care at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.
They join two other members of the congregation who have ecclesiastical qualifications.
The Rev Prue Clark was one of the first women to be ordained 25 years ago and is one of the chaplains at Willow Wood Hospice while June Partington is a lay reader.
The new ministerial team is currently reaching out in the community and focused on baptisms and families as well as holding a bereavement café on the last Saturday of each month.
“We are normal everyday people who have done things differently with regards to our faith,” explained Vivienne.
The Rev Howarth added it is unusual to have so many parishioners showing such commitment to their faith.
He said: “Pauline, who is my wife, did the course first and, speaking to others, it encouraged them to take them.
“It is not something new as ours is a parish with a tradition of parishioners coming forward to minister.
“It has been particularly good to see so many members of our congregation making a further commitment.
“Any service that does not require a priest sees them get together and they support me as I try to support them.”