Welcome to our new Readers

On Saturday 12th September, four new Readers will be admitted and licensed to our diocese. Fiona Trewick, Chair of the Reader development group, introduces the new Readers.

Like many things in 2020, the Reader Licensing Service is a little different to our usual service. Four new Readers will be admitted and licensed and three Readers will be licensed to Coventry Diocese. However, the Readers who would normally be re-licensed are having their licences extended and are not being re-licensed at the moment. Something will be planned for them in 2021.

We are holding the service at St Mary’s Cubbington, rather than the Cathedral, so everything will be on a smaller scale, including the number of guests that are able to attend. It’s not just the licensing service that is different to usual. The last few training sessions for the new Readers were all held by Zoom rather than being face to face.

Please remember in your prayers these new Readers who are starting their ministry in such unusual times and pray that they will be able to use some of the new ways of ministering to people, such as Zoom, alongside more traditional practices

Steve Cook

My name is Steve, I am 56 years old and married to Sian. I have 3 children and one grandson. Having worked in the construction industry all my working life and Sian for the NHS, we took early retirement in 2015 spending 6 months in France and 6 in the UK until late 2017.

I was brought up in my local Anglican church in Buckinghamshire, coming to faith at the age of 16 following a Christian Youth Fellowship Association holiday in Barnstable, Devon.

At 22 I had a calling to set up a Sunday school at my home church. After 4 years I moved to a local Baptist church in Middlesex. I served initially with the youth team and subsequently as a deacon for 2 years and church elder for 9 years alongside the church minister responsible for pastoral care, the churches prayer ministry and church administrator.

In 2005 I moved back to Buckinghamshire where I returned to a local Anglican church until 2015 when I part settled in Dunchurch and joined St. Peter's church. In December 2017 God called me into church leadership and I completed my initial Reader training in July 2020.


Chris Dronfield

My name is Chris Dronfield and I am a member of Stoke St Michael’s Church. I am slowly losing grip on being the right side of 40 but nonetheless grateful for getting this far as I am ‘survivor’ of two lots of heart surgery which form a huge part of my journey in faith. At 24 I was rushed to hospital with chest pains. It was found that I had severe problem with my heart valves and my aorta. I needed surgery. Three years and two surgeries later I was back at church and able to reflect that throughout this ordeal I felt the continued presence of Christ, more than possibly any point in the preceding 24 years. I heard my calling to share my faith, the things I’ve learnt and my love for Jesus. And that is what has led me here, to Reader Ministry and the next step on this wonderful journey of faith…


Helen Merrigan

I consider myself a Yorkshire lass, although I moved to Rugby when I was 11. We started going to church because my mum made a bargain with God regarding my brother surviving major surgery. I had a fantastic grounding in Christianity with leaders that I loved and respected, who gave of themselves and taught me by word and example – several are still close friends.

After training as a nurse and midwife in London and Birmingham I served with Youth With A Mission in Holland for 2 ½ years. The most important thing I learnt during this time was to truly experience God’s faithfulness, rather than just knowing about it in theory.

Soon after returning, I met my husband. Our two sons, Josh and Ben were both diagnosed as profoundly deaf which was hugely painful for us but God used that situation as a witness to his faithfulness and strength in difficult times. Both boys (now 26 and 24) have cochlear implants and have succeeded in ways beyond our expectations and best of all they walk with Jesus.

I am currently an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. I love spending time with my husband, sons and good friends; walking, cooking, music, watching a good film.

I have enjoyed the Reader journey so far and look forwards to seeing where God takes me and how he will use me. I am also keen to continue learning to make church more accessible to those ‘outside the walls’ so they hear the gospel and come to know Christ.


Sue Turner

For the last 40 yrs I have worked as a nurse and midwife in a hospital and now in a GP Practice which I love and have always thought to be my vocation. For the last 6 yrs I have been on the governing body of Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group.

My family are very important to me and I live with my son Matthew and his partner Louise at home in Bulkington. My husband died 16 years ago and as we have a smallholding, it’s good that Matthew still lives at home. I have a daughter Sarah who lives in Bedworth with her husband Paul and my grandchildren Chloë and Joshua, who share their time between All Saints Bedworth and Bulkington and I’m very proud of them all.

I have worshipped at St James Bulkington all of my life as I moved to Bulkington when I was 2 years old. At present I am a churchwarden and server. Being called by God Reader ministry was a surprise and took some getting used to, but I’ve really enjoyed my training and I’m looking forward to the challenges that the future may bring as I start a new journey with Christ.