We are delighted to announce the appointment of three Funeral Champions for the diocese. This is a new voluntary role which aims to support and encourage funeral ministry.
Our parishes and chaplaincies offer much by way of hope and pastoral care through their funeral ministry. The new Funeral Champions aim to develop good and inspiring practice at a time of changing expectations for funeral services. They will make themselves available to deaneries and parishes to encourage us all in this foundational aspect of parish ministry. The funeral champions are:
The Revd Anne Gilbert (Rochdale Deanery)
I am the vicar of Rochdale parish churches. Having been initially nervous of funeral ministry and supporting people dealing with grief, I now realise how important it is, both pastorally in helping people to heal and process their grief whilst offering them hope of life eternal, but also as a missional opportunity in making lasting connections with people in our community.
The Revd Liz Rowles (Manchester North & East Deanery)
I am a Team Vicar in the Heatons. I have found funeral ministry hugely rewarding and a huge privilege. I have found that the connections made have led to long lasting relationships with me but also with the church and I am looking forward to sharing in this ministry with others across the deanery and the Diocese.
The Revd Dave Thompson (Bury & Rossendale Deanery)
I am incumbent of the Walmersley Road benefice in Bury. I was keen to be involved as a Deanery Funeral Champion to promote and encourage the Church's role in funeral ministry as we face the threat of increasing secularisation at this vital part of people's lives.
The Funeral Champions are being convened by the Revd Anne Gilbert, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org; 01706 346774.
Over time, it is intended to appoint a Funeral Champion for each of the seven deaneries.