Queen’s former student Reverend Liz England is currently Team Rector of Buxton Team Parish. Almost a decade after her ordination Liz tells us about her many lives before becoming a vicar and some of the exciting things she is up to in her ministry, including her charity and new children’s book.
I had a varied career before my ordination. I was running a consultancy business and prior to that I was working in Birmingham, as an Operations Manager, within a charity for adults with learning disabilities. I trained at Queen’s, part-time from 2012 to 2015, after getting through my BAP. I was fortunate to be one of the people chosen to visit the theological college in Chennai, India in 2013 – this was an experience I will never forget.
After training, I was released by Birmingham Diocese and Lichfield offered me a curacy at St Nicholas’ Church, Codsall, Staffordshire. After completing my curacy I felt called to the role of Team Rector in Buxton and was surprised and delighted to be appointed. Hence, I am now the Team Rector in the beautiful market town of Buxton, where for nearly five years I have overseen the six churches that make up Buxton Team Parish. I have supported each church through a vision process, to help them understand and embrace their own personality and identity. We are now working towards each one of the churches having its own worship style and church traditions.
I am fortunate to have a ministry team, comprising 11 members: a team vicar, two curates, retired priests, lay readers and trainee lay worship leaders/readers who are on the Derby Diocesan leadership course. I am also currently the chair of ‘Churches Together in Buxton’ and in 2021 was privileged to have a year as chaplain to The High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Louise Potter.
I love tech and have recently launched a charity called PrayGo (www.praygo.net) which aims to create a new prayer app. I am leading a team of talented trustees, working to raise the necessary funds in order to develop the app. PrayGo will use augmented reality to help people visualise prayers within their environment – a little like Pokemon GO did – but for prayers rather than monsters!
Prompted by my previous experience working with early years children, helping to run a Children’s Centre along with numerous parent & toddler groups; I wanted to create a way to help communicate Bible stories in an engaging and fun way for pre-school children. I had previously written stories, where two new characters, Teddy and Dolly, become part of a Bible story. These stories have now just been published as a book – ‘Bible Adventures with Teddy and Dolly’ which is being used by ministers and children’s workers across the UK and Ireland. The book consists of eight gospel stories retold in a fresh and engaging way, to keep the attention of all, but particularly the under 5’s. I am hoping to have a Christmas book full of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany stories ready to be a resource for that season in the next few weeks.
Bible Adventures with Teddy and Dolly are available on Etsy at: https://teddyanddollybooks.etsy.com