A WOMAN has been promoted to associate priest for the Hambleden Valley group of churches.
Rev Sue Morton was licenced by Bishop of Buckingham Alan Wilson at a special service at St Mary the Virgin in Turville on Sunday attended by scores of parishioners and parish priest Rev Stephen Southgate.
Mrs Morton, who has been curate covering Fingest, Fawley, Hambleden, Medmenham, Frieth and Turville, since 2012, said: “It was one of our valley services where we gather together from across the community. We sang very joyous songs and it was a welcoming service.
“There was a wonderful moment towards the end where our children from the church Mice and Monkeys joined us with a large cake and sang to the tune of Happy Birthday.”
Mrs Morton lives her husband Mark in Claymoor Park, near Marlow, and has four grown-up daughters called Vicky, Claire, Laura and Alexandra.
She said: “Ordination was not something I had ever considered. After I left university I worked in a merchant bank in London before training as a primary school teacher.
“About 20 years ago I was diagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalopathy) and for the next 13 years I spent a great deal of time in bed.
“During that time God was calling me to explore ordination, which was a surprise to me so over the last seven years I have gradually and slowly improved. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet all kinds of amazing people.
“I’m delighted to be associate priest and look forward to seeing how God is working in the area.
“I would like to thank all the ministry team who supported me and the wonderful church wardens in the group of churches who have been brilliant.
“There is always variety working in a rural ministry because there are so many different things going on. I have been able to meet brilliant people and it has been a privilege to get to know them.
Bishop Alan licenced Mrs Morton during the service.
Bishop Alan said: “The service was a joyous and happy occasion surrounded by friends. There was an enormous amount of warmth in the room.”
After the service guests went to the barn at Mill House for tea, coffee, cake and nibbles.