God has created each of us in His image, in order that His love may be reflected throughout the world. He commands us to love Him and to love our neighbour. In undertaking this with others we believe we are called to serve each other and those in need. We, at St Laurence’s, hope to do this through activities where we share our gifts and support those around us.
Jesus said, ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ John 13:34
With that firmly in mind, let us introduce some of our key people:
Our two clergy, Reverend Christine Blakesley and Reverend Sue Bruce, retired in early April 2016. We give thanks for their dedication and service during their time with us.
Our church life and work continues during the period of recruitment of our new clergy.
Jenny joined us in 2010 from the St. Albans Diocese. She has been a Reader, (Lay Minister), for 30 years. In her previous church she was Pastoral Co-ordinator. She is also on the team of a national charity, based in Kent, “Beauty from Ashes” who seek to come alongside those going through loss of any kind and pray God’s love and comfort into their lives.
Jenny is a retired primary school teacher. Among her interests, she enjoys water colour painting, sugarcraft, flower arranging and swimming to keep fit! Her 5 grandchildren give her a lot of pleasure and two of them she keeps in touch with through Facebook.
“I am Ruth Sansom, married to Rodger (you may have met him!), and now a Reader (lay minister) in St Laurence’s Church. My faith in God is strong, as I believe He has created this beautiful world out of love for us, that His Son Jesus Christ came that we can be forgiven, and that His Holy Spirit lives in me, guiding and supporting me in life’s issues. I have attended church for most of my life, increasingly understanding God’s love for me, His challenges and His great gifts to the world.
I have lived in Middleton St George since 2005 and think it is a good place to be. I retired from teaching three years ago, and have since become involved in the U3A (University of the Third Age), sporting and walking activities.
I believe God calls all of us to share His ministry, and, as an extension of family and working life, I have taken up His calling to Reader ministry. In addition to work in church, I lead a monthly informal service at St George’s Hall Care Home, and have recently led some acts of collective worship in St George’s Academy. It is exciting to be involved with these members of our community!”
Authorised Pastoral Assistants (APAs)
Anita is the oldest of four siblings, and travelled a lot in her early years (Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Germany, Cyprus as well as numerous places in the UK) as her father was in the RAF. It was the RAF that brought Anita and her family to Middleton St George, and they liked it so much that, when Anita’s father came out of the RAF in 1966, they decided to stay, buying a house in the village (for £2,000)! Anita has remained close by in Hurworth since then, and has been a member of St Laurence’s for 10 years.
Anita spent 18 years of her working life as secretary to the Provincial of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God, and then became secretary to the Bishop of Durham for 7 years before returning to St John of God where she now works part time as Administrator to the Board of Trustees.
Anita has two children now in their 30s. She became an APA after encouragement by Rev’d Paul Neville, and has recently been re-commissioned by Bishop Mark for a second term of 5 years.