The Revd Lizzy Woolf will be licensed by Bishop Nick as Rector of St George’s Leeds on Saturday 2 September.
Since 2009 Lizzy has been Associate Vicar at St Paul’s Leamington Spa.
She originally worked as a solicitor (she read law at Queen’s College, Cambridge), before training for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.
She served her curacies at St George’s Holborn and St Paul’s Hammersmith (both church plants from Holy Trinity Brompton), and has also been Chaplain to the Aldermanic Sheriff of London and the Lord Mayor of London.
For two years prior to ordination she was Head of the Pastorates Department at Holy Trinity Brompton, from where she was the first woman to be sent for ordination.
St George's, Leeds is a large charismatic evangelical church in the city centre which has been designated by the diocese as a Resource Church, ie, ‘A city centre church which, working closely with the local bishop, intentionally resources mission across a city, by planting and revitalising churches, developing leaders and providing other resources for mission’.
Lizzy says, “I am delighted to be coming to St George’s as it builds on its considerable heritage in the heart of Leeds.
“I am passionate about preaching Jesus, serving the city in practical ways and making disciples – seeing people flourish in the whole variety of their God-given calling.
“I am convinced that City Centre Resource Churches have a pivotal role to play in advancing the Kingdom of God in the UK. I look forward to drawing on my church planting experience and sending people out to help revitalize churches that are struggling, particularly in deprived areas”.
Bishop Paul Slater, who has responsibility for the Leeds Episcopal Area, says, "I am very pleased that Lizzy is coming to be Rector of St George's at this important time in its life as it becomes a Resource Church for the city. I am sure also that she will provide a good role model of senior women’s church leadership in the city."
Lizzy joins a small handful of women who lead larger Anglican churches in the UK - women make up 28% of the stipendiary clergy, but lead only 3% of the C of E’s largest churches.
She says, “There are few role models of women, especially mothers, leading large evangelical churches, and I feel called into this area - working out how to do justice to both my vocations (ministry and motherhood) in a way which is sustainable and life-giving”.
Lizzy is married to Dave and they have two girls, aged 5 and 3. She adds, “I love to travel and experience other cultures (56 countries to date), and I enjoy swimming, walking and tennis. But much of my ‘free’ time is now spent on play dates with my daughters. I love exploring the world through their eyes”.
Lizzy Woolf’s licensing service takes place at 2pm on Saturday 2 September at St George’s Leeds.