Welcoming New Readers in the Diocese of York


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will admit and license six new Readers to serve in parishes in the Diocese of York, during a service at York Minster on Saturday 18th November.

Readers are lay ministers who lead acts of worship, and 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. Those newly admitted on the 18th November have trained with the York School of Ministry which involves both formational training and academic study.

Those to be admitted as Readers, with the parishes in which they will serve, are:

  • Diane Berry to serve in Withernsea, Owthorpe, Garton-in-Holderness, Grimston, Hilston, Hollym, Holmpton, Roos and Tunstall.
  • Margaret Clegg to serve in East Cottingwith, Sutton-upon-Derwent, Thorganby, Wheldrake and Elvington.
  • Joyce Cochrane to serve in Walkington, Bishop Burton, Rowley and Skidby.
  • Catherine Hallsworth to serve in the York Parish of St Philip & St James, Clifton.
  • Lucinda Lawson to serve in the Stamford Bridge Group of parishes.
  • David Millican to serve in Market Weighton, Goodmanham and Sancton.
  • Garry Parkes to be admitted as Reader and licensed to the York Parish of St Philip & St James, Clifton
  • Peter Wells to serve at the York churches of All Saints Pavement, St Denys, St Helen Stonegate, St Martin Coney Street, St Olave, Holy Trinity Micklegate, St Lawrence.

Peter Bolton has moved from another diocese and will be licensed to serve in Ugglebarnby, Sneaton, Aislaby and Sleights

Martyn Marsh will have his license renewed to serve in Skelton, Upleatham, Boosbeck and Lingdale.

Joyce Harrison and Peter Laverick will receive the title Reader Emeritus on their retirement from active Reader ministry.

Garry Parkes, who will serve at the Parish of St Philip & St James, Clifton (York), says, “During the first two years of that study I had no desire or intention to become a Licensed Reader; it wasn’t on my radar in any way. I was studying purely for my own spiritual growth and personal development (or so I thought!). But God had a different plan for me. I feel strongly that God wants me to use the skills and knowledge I’ve accumulated over these years to communicate and connect with all, inside and outside the church.”

Joyce Cochrane, who will serve at Walkington, Bishop Burton, Rowley and Skidby, says, “I don’t feel that I have stopped enjoying life, or become terribly serious and spiritual – or even seriously spiritual. I just feel that I have expanded and grown, and I have skills and depths that I wasn’t aware of before. I don’t know what will happen next, but I am sure that right now I am where God wants me to be.’

Archdeacon Samantha Rushton, Warden of Readers in the Diocese of York, said, “There’s no such thing as a typical Reader - Reader ministry is very much what God and you make it, and there seem to be almost as many types of Reader ministry as there are Readers.”