55 people in groups from Cradley Heath, Evesham, Droitwich, Malvern, Stourport and Worcester have received a special certificate from Bishop John, 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 John addressed the candidates before presenting them with their certificates. He offered congratulations to all those receiving certificates as well as thanking the tutors and the family and friends who had supported them. He quoted St Augustine by saying: “‘To reach out a little with the mind is great blessedness’. Go on reaching out a little, but most of all, go on loving because ‘to know is to love’ and you’re loved by God more than you can possibly imagine.”

Glennis Finn from St. Andrew’s Church in Wollescote took the course with the group in Worcester. She said: “It was brilliant, we had a really wonderful group from diverse backgrounds. I loved getting to grips with the bible and found the resulting discussion inspiring. It’s given me a lot more confidence in my faith.”

Jackie Hewlett from Gornal and Sedgley parish was part of the group which met at Old Hill in Cradley Heath. She said: “I loved the course. We had quite a small group so got to know each other really well and shared each other’s journeys. We followed the Church’s year as we worked through the bible and it helped to link everything together.”

Richard Weatherill from Great Malvern Priory completed the course. He said: “It was very good, we had a lovely, cohesive group with a good variety of tutors. I studied the bible for my degree around 40 years ago so it was great to get a different perspective. I’ve definitely got a better understanding of the key elements of the faith now, including prayer.”

Linda Bridgewater is from Alvechurch parish. She said: “This was the second time I’d completed the course and each time it’s brought something different out. I really enjoyed meeting other people and talking about our beliefs.”

Liz Bloomer is from St Michael’s Church in Stourport. She said: “The course was excellent. Our leaders made a real difference – they used the course material and went into greater depth. It made us think and look at things from different angles and we all learnt something new, no matter how long we’d been part of the church. It’s helped to bring church services alive because I’ve got a better understanding of the symbolism and meaning behind the words we say.”

Judith Ford is a member of St Barnabas in Worcester. She said: “I’ve always been interested in RE and I found the course really interesting. It was good to share it with others, but I was also able to do quite a bit of self-study.” 

ENDS

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