Changing of the Guard

Changing of the guard


On Friday 10th May, in a fairly full York Minster, the Archbishop of York presided over the Admission of Churchwardens. Mark Comer was there being sworn in for his second year and joining him was newly elected Elaine Hill. Both are pictured above following the APCM along with former warden Paul Smith and Steve. We’ve got to know Elaine over the last few years she has been a member of our church (particularly anyone who has visited the monthly Fair Trade Stall) but we thought it would be good to find out a bit more about her.


What brought you to St Luke’s and why?

I was looking for a church in York and having ‘googled’ looked at websites to see what each church offered. I liked what St Luke’s said a Church that is rooted in prayer and had lots going on including groups for children’s, important as they are our future. On further exploration I discovered the vicar was Steve Benford; Steve and I worked together in operating theatres about 10 years previously, so that clinched the deal.


What do you get up to from Monday to Saturday?

I work full time as a Hospice Manager for Marie Curie, as a volunteer I provide advice and support to a faith based charity on working with victims of human trafficking. I have also recently become a Street Angel spending one Saturday night a month on the streets of York, so beware on your nights out! I love having family visit and spending time with my twin grandchildren. I also make sure I have time for me having a massage and spending time with friends doing lunch and walking.


Would you like to tell us something about your family?

I grew up in Malton, but spent much of my childhood on my Grandparents farm on the Castle Howard Estate, swimming in the lake etc. I have a twin sister and 3 grown up children. My eldest daughter is about to have her first child, my son provided me with twins 16 months ago and I so love been a Grandma. My youngest daughter is still at college studying sport and does lots of running, as you can see she gets her sporting prowess from me!!!


Can you tell us something about your faith and how it affects you?

My faith is what holds me together it is integral to my everyday living. I have been lucky to work with many vulnerable people as a nurse and in other care settings e.g. working with victims of trafficking. My faith gives me strength and wisdom to do my job; my hands try and do the work of God. I have often given God my burdens to carry when I cannot give them to anyone else.


Do you have a favourite song/hymn/prayer/bible quote?

It is difficult to just pick one, but I find that the ‘women at the well’ had a significant impact on me. When I became divorced many people stopped talking to me, I suddenly felt like an outcast. Jesus speaks to the Samarian woman at the well, two similarities a woman and an outcast and Jesus did not ignore her.

Being a Church Warden is a big job what are your hopes and fears?

Everyone gives a knowing nod or chuckle when I mention becoming church warden, perhaps my naivety will be my strength not my downfall. I bring many skills and diverse knowledge so I hope I can build onto the work of other church wardens. My fear is letting people down, but I will do my best not to.


What makes you laugh and what do you do for fun?

Many things make me laugh, but I get pleasure from making others laugh. I used to play the idiot in pantomime and love any opportunity to dress up. At work we hold 2 parties a year to thank our volunteers, the party is themed and we dress up and play games etc.


What’s the best thing about St Luke’s?

The people, the prayer and ministry and the way we use the skills and gifts of the congregation. I like the music and the beautiful singing. It’s great the way children are welcomed and can go up and down the aisle and, of course, our Fairtrade.


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Webpage icon Parish trip to see Steve Benford installed in Northolt
Webpage icon Vicar Steve to leave St Luke's this autumn
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Webpage icon Fracas as frack plan goes down the tube
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