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New Readers in the Diocese of York

Susan and Geoff Hill

Monday 16th November 2015

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, licenced seven new Readers in the Diocese of York in York Minster on Saturday 14th November. Among those being licenced were Susan and Geoff Hill, a married couple from Guisborough.


Geoff Hill said, “I began attending church regularly about 15 years ago in 2000, and my faith developed quickly.  In 2011, our vicar asked me and my wife, Susan, if we had considered applying for Reader Ministry training.  I dismissed it, thinking God wouldn’t call me.  I could see so many other people in the Church with what I considered ‘better claims’ to such a calling, as after all I was a relative ‘newcomer to Christ’.  The vicar encouraged me to consider this seriously, but it was not until the following year, after praying long and hard, discussing this with my wife and family, others in the Church, and others who I knew were going through Reader Ministry training, that I decided that I would put myself forward, recognising that this was God’s decision, not mine.

“I consider myself very fortunate in that my wife applied and was accepted for Reader Ministry training at the same time that I was.  We have been married over 40 years and while we approach things from very different standpoints, we find that our gifts complement each other, making us stronger and more effective together than as individuals.  I have found this invaluable during the three years training with the York School of Ministry, and it has been so useful to have somebody to ‘bounce ideas off’, encourage me, and offer me different perspectives.”

Susan Hill said, “The training for Reader Ministry with the York School of Ministry involves academic studies, theological reflection and the practical aspects of ministry.  Returning to study has been quite a challenge for me, every time we started a new module I would look at the essay titles and the deadlines and think to myself ‘I can’t possibly manage to do this! In time, though, I began to accept that if God really was calling me to Reader ministry then he would help me to meet the challenges of the course.  And that is exactly what he has done, through encouragement, support and guidance of so many who have been part of my journey. 

“Throughout our married life Geoff and I have always been supportive of each other.  Our vocations in Reader ministry have always been distinct; we are, after all, different people, with different gifts to offer.  However, I do feel that we complement each other, and that God, in his wisdom, has called us both.  It has been wonderful to be able to share, encourage and support each other as we have continued our journey together.”

The Ven Sam Rushton, Warden of Readers in the Diocese of York said, “It’s great to welcome Geoff, Susan, and all our other new Readers to their new ministries in the church.  Readers lead acts of worship, and they help the good news of Christ come alive through explaining the Bible and Christian belief.  Through their preaching and teaching and in their pastoral work, Readers help others explore the Gospel message, and share in the Church’s work of caring for people in Christ’s name.”


The names of those admitted as Readers, and their Licenced parishes are:

  • Martin Adams, Hutton Cranswick w Skerne, Watton and Beswick
  • Heather Bingley,  Rudston, Boynton, Carnaby, Kilham. Burton Fleming w Fordon, Grindale and      Wold Newton
  • Margaret Hall, West Buckrose
  • Geoff Hill, St Nicholas Guisborough
  • Susan Hill, St Nicholas Guisborough
  • Alison Hutchinson, St Peter’s Norton
  • Sylvia Swan, St Cuthbert, Marton in Cleveland


The following people were also welcomed and licensed as Readers:

  • Anne Mott, Heslington
  • Trish Barker, Hutton Cranswick w Skerne, Watton and Beswick
  • Helen Buckingham, Scarborough St James w Holy Trinity


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