It was a great joy to hear of the recent ordination to the priesthood of Judith Clark, one-time of this parish. Judith knows us well down here, she still has family connections to the church and has been on her own remarkable journey of faith that has now led her into Christian ministry in Leeds. So often in these times of social mobility, the quest for work, and the travel for study people vaish in a haze and we hear from them no more, so how wonderful to hear something of Judith’s journey for Jesus. We are planning for Judith to come and preach in the early part of next year - do come along and meet her when she’s here and maybe renew your acquaintance. Here’s something of her story......
My connection with St John the Evangelist Worsthorne started as a young child, shortly after my parents moved to Cliviger (The Pike Hill End). My brother Jack was Baptised at the Church and I attended Playgroup and Sunday School from the age of 3 before starting at The Church of England School (St. John’s) in Cliviger village. Childhood memories include my weekly trips to Brownies at Worsthorne (apparently, I was in Rainbows first!) where one month I managed to acquire several badges and when being awarded the first by The Rev. Lawrence Laycock at the next family service, I was asked just to stand on the chancel steps as there were more to come, I was pleased that not one of them was the sewing badge - my mother was not! My mum (Beverley) was also Sunday School Deputy Superintendent for several years, we used to look forward to our fellowship and time together in church on a Sunday, as we explored Biblical texts from both the Old and New Testament. My Sunday School journey culminated in my year as Rose Queen (2003-2004).
We then moved away from the Burnley area. My interest in Religions and Theology led me to complete my Undergraduate Degree in B.A (Hons.) Religions and Theology (First) followed by my M.A Degree in Biblical Studies (Distinction) both from The University of Manchester. I then worked as a Pastoral Assistant for the Joint Benefice of St Michael and All Angels, Beckwithshaw and St. Robert of Knaresborough, Pannal (on the outskirts of Harrogate) for two years whilst I went through the discernment process prior to being selected for ordination training. I attended Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire where alongside the general work I undertook a variety of placements including chaplaincy at RAF Brize Norton, Jesus College at The University of Oxford and A Mental Health Hospital; Parish placements at four Oxfordshire villages and Dorchester Abbey. More locally, I completed a summer placement at Bolton Priory near Skipton and a Themed Study week exploring Ministry in the North East. I am now serving my curacy at The Minster and Parish Church of St Peter-At-Leeds and following my diaconal year I was recently ordained Priest into the Church of England.
Alongside both my ordination training and my curacy I have been reading for a Dphil (PhD) in Theology through Oriel College at The University of Oxford. My thesis focuses on angelology, spatiality and prayer within the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, which is a liturgical document that was discovered amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls and dates from the Second Temple Period. As part of my studies, I was extended the opportunity to spend four months on a Semester Abroad programme living in Jerusalem and studying through The Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University.
It is not all work though, and I love travelling and enjoy the thrill of discovering new places as much as uncovering the ‘new’ when re-visiting old favourites. Time spent with family and friends, going to the theatre or cinema, trying different restaurants, reading, listening to music, drama and dancing are also all pastimes which I enjoy – when possible!
I look forward to returning to St John’s Worsthorne at some point in the new year to revisit old friends and am delighted by the opportunity to preach.
Thank you for the very kind invitation.
Yours in Christ