Canon Felicity Lawson retires after a varied ministry

Canon Felicity Lawson is to retire on 30 June after a varied and interesting ministry in the Church of England.

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, says, “Felicity has made a significant contribution to the Church of England in many different ways: training clergy at St John's Nottingham; as Diocesan Director of Ordinands in the former Diocese of Wakefield as well as being a respected parish priest and Area Dean. And she has also been involved in many other areas of the life of Church of England."

Felicity has been Vicar of St Peter’s, Gildersome & Priest-in-Charge of St Paul's, Drighlington, since 2000.

She co-wrote 'Saints Alive!' and 'Emmaus: the Way of Faith' - courses which have been used internationally to bring many people to faith and develop their discipleship.

Ashley Peatfield, a member of St Peter’s (& Editor, Religion for BBC Local Radio), says, “Felicity has always recognised the abilities and strengths of people within the congregation. She has allowed them to express their passions and commitments in ways which have enriched the life of the church, allowed creativity to blossom and created an energy which has reached out to people beyond the weekly congregation”.

Felicity became Director of Ministerial Training in the Diocese of Wakefield in 1987 and then Diocesan Director of Ordinands. Before that she lectured in pastoral studies at St John's College Nottingham.

She also helped set up ReSource (which works for the renewal of the Church for mission in the power of the Holy Spirit) and is on the Council of Scargill.

Felicity says, "There are many things that I will remember from my ministry. I will never forget the privilege of walking alongside the women Deacons as they prepared for their ordination to the Priesthood in 1994, being part of the team which prepared the Emmaus material and seeing the ‘Missionary Diocese of Wakefield’ begin to have an impact in very ordinary parishes as people grew in confidence and discovered they really could share their faith with family and friends. 

"Working with the wonderful people in Drighlington and Gildersome has certainly been a highlight of my ministry too. But what I think I will remember most from both my work in the Diocese and in the Parish is the privilege of walking alongside people in their faith journeys, whether that is people who are just taking their first tentative steps towards God and discovering that he has already made the first move towards them or working with people as they explore God’s call to ministry be that lay or ordained.

"As for the future, I am looking forward to living in Barnoldswick and getting to know a new church and community, having time to reconnect with friends all over the country and to walk along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal (which is only ¼ mile from my front door), and being closer to Scargill and the wonderful work that is happening there."

Felicity’s last Sunday in her parish will be Sunday 25 June.


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