Over 30 people in groups from Droitwich, Kidderminster, Upton, Old Hill and Worcester have received a special certificate from the Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, marking the completion of a course designed to help them relate their Christian faith to their own life and locality.

The groups took the Bishop’s Certificate course over 12 months with the support of local tutors. It covered subjects such as Christian faith and the Creeds, the Old and New Testaments, Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, discipleship and living as Christians with people of other faiths.

Bishop Graham preachingBishop Graham addressed the candidates before presenting them with their certificates. He offered warm congratulations to all those receiving certificates and said: “Tonight is the culmination of a great deal of reflection and learning – you should all be very proud of yourselves. This is part of your journey as disciples of Jesus, but please don’t stop here! There is always something new to discover about the wonder and mystery of God, so consider what you might do next on that journey.”

Kathryn & Richard Sandland are members of Holy Trinity, Trimpley and took part in the Kidderminster course. They said: “It’s been a fantastic course, meeting new people and learning new things thanks to excellent guidance from our tutors. It’s opened up lots of opportunities for the future and we’ve really felt the Holy Spirit moving through the course. It has been a special year and one that we’ll always remember.”

Rachel Rean from Droitwich Parish said: “I loved the course, it was a very dynamic group with lots of discussion. We developed a really good bond and have continued meeting afterwards. I would highly recommend the course to others, it was very well led with excellent material – all in all, it was brilliant!”

David Allen receiving his certificateDavid Allen from Hollybush Church in the Berrow benefice was part of the group from Upton and the surrounding areas. He said: “I loved the course, it was rewarding and great to meet new people. I’m looking to go on to complete the Authorised Lay Minister course and become a worship leader – I would never have done that if it hadn’t been for the Bishop’s Certificate course. I’ve already recommended it to a number of others!”

Gillian Yegwart is from Bromsgrove but was part of the group which met in Worcester. She said: “The course was absolutely lovely and I shall miss it dreadfully. It was especially great to meet people which you could really talk issues through with – we had lots of fun together.”

Old Hill recipients of the Bishop's CertificateMargaret Pamplin is a member of St. Michael’s Church in Norton, Stourbridge and completed the certificate with a group from Old Hill. She said: “I do quite a bit of pastoral care through the church and wanted to do some more bible study. It was an excellent course, very broad-ranging. We had a good group of people who were all prepared to get involved. The content of the course was very good, but it was the people who really made it.”

See more photos from the evening.


The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.

Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516
Email: ssetchell@cofe-worcester.org.uk