Christine Laycock Greening felt a call toward church leadership from a young age. She was brought up in a conservative evangelical family. Her great grandfather started a closed Brethren church which did not allow female participation in leadership.
After University Chris used her leadership and teaching gifts as a teacher of 5-11 year olds and dedicated the next twenty years to that work and bringing up two daughters. Her early sense of calling was always apparent as she worked tirelessly in the churches of which she was a member.
In 1996, when she was 44 years old, she attended a weekend retreat about purpose and calling. During that weekend she knew with certainty that she was to be a minister.
Without any form of church backing, she enrolled at Nottingham University to train in the Minister’s Training Program. Chris and her family were attending a Methodist Church at the time, and her calling had been clear to many of the members. The Methodist Church accepted full women ministers and soon Chris was accepted to lead churches.
She found fulfillment in doing what she was born to do. She was honored to take up post in the largest Methodist church in the UK, High Street Harpenden Methodist Church, and lead with some distinction until her life was cut short by cancer.
She was called from very early in her life, and though the church she was in at the time did not recognize almost any ministry or gifts for women, through strong belief and the encouragement of others, she found true joy in being what God had called her to be. The sadness may be that so many years were lost to prejudice and sexism.
Because Chris would encourage every woman to test her calling and trust God to deliver, a donation has been made to She Is Called in her honor to provide fair pay for the women involved and to empower women to move toward calling.
by Pete Greening