I’m Alister Burr – like Janys, I’m a Reader in St Mary’s, Hambleton, which means that from time to time I preach on Sundays, sometimes lead services, and also lead the prayers quite often. And I’m married to Anna, the Vicar, and we live in Chapel Haddlesey. Before moving there with Anna I was also a Reader at our previous church of St Edward the Confessor, Dringhouses, York, having been licensed as a Reader at the same time as Janys in 2010.
Like Janys, I’m also licensed to the other churches in our benefice, so also lead services and preach in Chapel Haddlesey and Birkin, and at the moment I’m also helping Anna in Carlton and Drax. Since we’re part of the Selby Hub I’ve also preached in Selby Abbey sometimes. I also get involved in evening events like the Pilgrim Courses we run periodically in Hambleton. I’m also a Foundation Governor at Chapel Haddlesey Church of England primary school, near where we live – a Foundation Governor supports the Church Foundation of the school, helping to uphold the Christian values of the school.
As Janys has mentioned, the role of Reader is a voluntary one, so many Readers have full time jobs. My “day job” is as a Professor in the Department of Electronics at York University, so I commute to York most days (when I’m not away on University business). This means that my Church ministry has to be exercised at weekends and in the evenings. I try to make sure my sermons aren’t as long as my lectures at the University!
It’s a great privilege to be involved in the work of St Mary’s and the other churches, to help people (I trust) to understand a bit more about God, and to lead them in worship and in prayer to our loving God.