The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev’d Vivienne Faull, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Stephanie Hayton as Adviser for Lay Ministry and Warden of Readers.
The role of the Adviser for Lay Ministry is to encourage and develop good practice in all kinds of lay ministry in the Diocese of Bristol. Dr Stephanie Hayton will begin this role after Easter, and will oversee the ‘Exploring Christianity’ course, which provides a vocational approach to theology and is open to all.
As Warden of Readers, Stephanie will oversee and support all aspects of Licenced Lay Ministry (LLM). She will be a member of the Ministry Development Team and contribute to the life of the Diocese.
The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev’d Vivienne Faull, said of the appointment:
“Stephanie speaks beautifully of her own journey of faith, her teaching and preaching ministry, and a creative back and forth between school classroom and church. This lived experience will be a great gift as she takes on the role of Warden of Readers and seeks to encourage and equip lay ministry in all its richness in the Diocese. I extend Stephanie a warm, Bristol, welcome. I look forward to getting to know her better and seeing her flourish in this important task.”
After gaining a Ph.D in Physics, Stephanie worked as a physics teacher. She matched this with work for the church - she was licensed as a Reader in 2008 and has a ministry of preaching, teaching and worship leading. For the last few years, she has taught in a Birmingham secondary school while also training Licensed Lay Ministers for the Diocese of Birmingham.
Dr Stephanie Hayton said:
“My initial training was in physics which I continue to enjoy, while my career has been a patchwork of physics teaching, church work and family, often concurrently. I became a Christian as a teenager from a non-church family, and was fortunate to be part of a thriving youth group which helped me grow in my faith. It also made me realise the value of learning and teaching well.
“For some years, I led all age services and recognised my need for more training so was encouraged to be licensed as a Lay Minister. Being licensed in 2008 was an important step which affirmed my calling and gave me more confidence.
"When I did my own LLM training, I was told to 'Be a Christian in the classroom and a physicist in church'. My hope and aim is to help people to live their Christian lives more freely in their workplaces, social networks and relationships, but also to see people bring their whole selves into church - their skills, experiences, hopes and questions.”
Bishop Lee, who is the Chair of the LLM Council, said:
“Stephanie brings a valuable combination of skills and experience to the role of Adviser for Lay Ministry and Warden of Readers. We look forward to her building on what we have been doing well while also helping us develop fresh thinking and approaches.”