WHAT IS THE OVER WYRE BENEFICE?
The Church of England parishes of Out Rawcliffe, Hambleton, Stalmine, Preesall/Knott End, and Pilling/Eagland Hill, are collectively known as the Over Wyre Benefice. There are two, full-time, ordained, priests, Rev’d Andy Shaw (Vicar and known by many as Father Andy) and Rev’d Naomi Barraclough (Associate Pioneer Minister). They lead worship, administer the sacraments, and work in schools. Beyond that, they have slightly different but complementary roles.
As the Vicar, Andy is responsible for the spiritual welfare and pastoral support of everyone in these parishes, whether churchgoers or not. Also, he has responsibility for administration, management, and coordinating worship. He is the contact for all services (including Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, and Funerals) and other church matters.
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As a Pioneer, Naomi’s main focus is with those outside existing churches. She works alongside the congregations to respond creatively to what God is doing, gather others on the journey and establish new and different Christian communities.
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Supporting Andy and Naomi, are some resident, retired, clergy. Many of these ordained priests have permission to officiate at services as and when needed. They have been a major source of support and strength to our parishes over the years and, God willing, will continue to be for many years to come. There are, also, some lay people who, although not ordained, are trained and experienced in leading worship. They are usually known as Local Lay Worship Leaders and take most of the Sunday Morning Prayer/Morning Worship services. Finally, and by no means least, there is an army of volunteers who keep our buildings and grounds safe, clean, and attractive, manage our finances, and still others who provide refreshments, visit the sick, and carry out so many jobs behind the scenes. All, these people, without whom we would struggle to operate, are a blessing from God and we should give thanks for them and their work in His name.