Almost 40 people in groups from Cradley Heath, Offenham, Ombersley and Worester have received a special certificate from the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, 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 JohnBishop John addressed the candidates before presenting them with their certificates. He offered congratulations to all those receiving certificates as well as thanking the tutors. He said: “This course is not just about learning facts for no reason, but about having the wisdom to understand how those facts affect our lives. I hope that what you have learnt has given you a thirst to know more as well as a true spirit of enlightenment about God’s love.”

Bishop's certificate group from OffenhamPippa Heenan is a member of Inkberrow Church and completed the course with the group in Offenham. She said: “I absolutely loved the course. It took me on a theological journey which was much deeper and broader than I expected and I learnt about other religions – their similarities and differences to Christianity. We had an amazing leader in Philip Morton and as a group we all encouraged each other to push our learning further.”

Bishop's certificate group from OmbersleyAngela Fletcher is from Feckenham and was part of the group in Ombersley. She said: “The course was really interesting. It was great to meet a new group of people who were all at different stages of our Christian journey. I enjoyed the discipline of studying again and particularly enjoyed the section about the New Testament.”

Bishop's certificate group from Cradley HeathBrian Turner is a member of St Peter’s Church in West Bromwich and completed the course with the group in Cradley Heath. He said: “I’ve been a Christian since the age of five, but felt I was lacking in my knowledge of scripture and wanted to understand more. The course was enlightening and I particularly enjoyed the practical sessions on symbolism and Christian art. Our group was also a real gift – people came from a range of different churches so there was a multitude of thoughts and views.”

Bishop's certificate group from WorcesterSue Bateman from St. John in Bedwardine Church was a part of the Worcester group. She said: “It was brilliant. I knew the content of the course before starting but I learnt so much more. It has definitely strengthened my faith – I found out things about the bible that I didn’t know and learnt lots of things that helped validate my faith and move it to a deeper level. There was also a lot of fun, laughter and cake and Sarah Cottrill was a great leader!”

See more pictures from the service


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