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Meet our new Licensed Lay Ministers for 2020

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Sep, 2020 10:33 PM

On Sunday 27th September, Bishop Karen will license 4 new Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) at Salisbury Cathedral.

Of these, 2 will be newly licensed and 2 will be transferred to new parishes.

They include a former MOD contractor, a trained chemist, a Rector's wife, and a carer with links to the Channel Islands.

Their hobbies include adrenaline sports, growing their own food, and visiting historic houses.

Our Vision is that of Renewing Hope, Pray Serve Grow, enabling a strong Christian presence in all our communities. We also know that churches and schools are best placed to understand and respond to God’s calling to serve in their local context. Therefore our vision has a strong commitment to lay ministry. We are also a Diocese where children and young people are a major part of our life and work.

Lay Ministers are licensed to work alongside ordained colleagues in the parishes where they serve. In some cases their ministry is rooted in the community or in the workplace rather than in the life of the local church.

Here is a bit more about our 4 new LLMs.

Meet our new Licensed Lay Ministers for 2020- Karen Gomm

Karen Gomm, 53, is married to a Rector (Tim), and has a grown-up son, 2 grandchildren and 2 dogs, Percy and Bella. Her post is an interesting combination of urban and island parish life in Portland, a place she knows and loves.

Already experienced in preaching and teaching, she says:

"I have been a stay-at-home Mum and Vicar’s wife, and I have thoroughly enjoyed those roles.

"Our Andrew is married to Beth and they have 2-year-old twins.

"They have all been so supportive of me. I have been stretched beyond my comfort zone during my training. God’s faithfulness and grace has been overwhelming and I look forward to more of the same in ministry. I have learnt to embrace anything that comes my way.

"I am now looking forward to working in the parish. When I look back, I can see how God can use all that I’ve learnt for the future and it’s exciting!

Her interests include crafts, reading, walking and swimming in the sea. She adds:

"I grow vegetables, and I have just discovered I like scrambled eggs!"

Meet our new Licensed Lay Ministers for 2020- Tony King

Keen skier and cyclist Tony King ministers at St Francis of Assisi, Littlemoor, and has already been preaching and helping people share their Christian faith.

He says:

"As an LLM, my workplace witness is just as important as the ministry within the church as it brings the church and world into dialogue, and helps me reflect on how the Bible speaks into our world today.

"My amazing wife Elaine supports me in this journey called life, what a blessing she is!

"Currently I am working part time as a Maintenance Officer at a Nursing home which specialises in dementia."

Originally an apprentice electrician, Tony has had many roles, including management-level work with a civilian contractor for the Ministry of Defence (MOD), overseeing maintenance and projects, with his skill set ranging from leadership and finding solutions through to pastoral care and a listening ear.

What is he looking forward to?

"Hopefully getting a new Incumbent at the church in which I minister as we have been in vacancy for a year. But I am thankful for the other people in the ministry teams here at St Francis, the wonderful gifts they share with us, and the opportunity to grow as a fellowship."

As well as being a keen skier and mountain biker, Tony enjoys skating and photography.

He observes:

"One thing I learnt from mountain biking is about where to focus when life goes wrong, if you look at the tree you are about to hit you normally hit it, however if you look to the place of safety that is where you tend to end up! In our Faith Life it is to focus on Jesus as our place of safety. Both these have lead me into interesting excursions from where I first set out."

Training at Sarum College has been a profound experience. Tony says:

"I had a real sense of formation happening in me as I wrestled with some of the subjects we studied and alternative opinions put forward in the reading. It felt like the hard work in the gym before I have the thrill of skiing each winter. These periods of understanding why I studied what we read came along in life outside the church/ college setting in conversations I had with people I hadn’t met before, and helped me persevere through the 3 years of training. Amazing how, when we take a step of faith, the Lord provides just what we need."

Meet our new Licensed Lay Ministers for 2020- Caroline McMeiken

Former bookkeeper and clerk Caroline McMeiken, 62, is newly based at St Mary the Virgin in Dorchester, and has links to the Channel Islands.

Caroline started training 5 years ago in September 2015, and was licensed by the Bishop of Dover 2 years later in September 2017.

She then completed 2 further years of study, with placements at St Matthew's Church Cobo and St Marie du Castel, Guernsey, and gaining a Diploma of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission from St Augustine's Theological College, West Malling.

She says:

"As we only moved back to the UK last July, I am looking forward to settling into the Parish and joining the ministry team. I will carry on exploring the beautiful area around Dorchester.

"Because I have only lived within the parish for a year, I am still settling into my new church, plus we are in an interregnum.

"My husband doesn't go to church, but supports me 100% with my work."

Having looked after her own parents, and had experience running a playgroup, Caroline says:

"Caring for elderly parents helps me when meeting elderly members of the congregation and to understand what problems they are facing. At the other end of the scale, running a small Messy Church is fine too."

Her interests include walking, gardening, cooking, making bread, knitting, self study, watching sport, reading - and travelling to seeing other cultures, when possible. Caroline explains:

"Self study helps me research and write sermons, and walking helps me think and relax. Knitting - forming a craft group such as Knit and natter, is good too.

"I also support AFC Bournemouth when they play away games, because I can't get home tickets!"

Meet our new Licensed Lay Ministers for 2020- Katy Carter

Katy Carter, now 69 and with 2 grown up children and 2 grandchildren, was first licensed in 2010 at Canterbury Cathedral, and served in her home parish until moving to Harnham in 2019, looking to continue ministry and explore links with schools in the parish.

She says:

"I originally trained as an analytical chemist. Returning to work after having a family, I worked as a teaching assistant in an infant school for 18 years before retirement.

"Although challenging, I enjoyed the return to formal study. Particularly special were the relationships that grew between individuals of very different church backgrounds and personalities.

"My husband David has been a vital support both during training and during my ministry in my previous parish.

What sorts of things does she do for fun?

"Probably the main ones are walking, visiting historic houses and gardens, and baking. I also dabble in lots of things including sewing, knitting, gardening, flower arranging and photography."

She adds:

"My first ever visit to Wiltshire and to Salisbury Cathedral was as a Girl Guide when we camped near Whiteparish. It seemed a very long way from my home in Kent!"


Please pray for our new Licensed Lay Ministers.

To be admitted and licensed:
Karen Gomm Portland Team Ministry
Tony King Weymouth Ridgeway

To be transferred:
Katy Carter Harnham St George and All Saints
Caroline McMeiken Dorchester and the Winterbournes

Sunday 27th September
Our new Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) will be admitted during Evensong in our Cathedral at 4.30pm. Bishop Nicholas is officiating and Bishop Karen, as our Warden of LLMs, is admitting and licensing them.

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