The Licensing of Jan Barlow as an Intercultural Pioneer Minister

There is much to celebrate in the life and work of our Intercultural Worshipping Communities across the Diocese of Leicester, including the recent licensing of a new Intercultural Pioneer Minister.

Jan Barlow was licensed and welcomed to St Paul’s Church in Oadby on Sunday 7 April, during a joyously intercultural service marking new beginnings and a commitment to shared ministry.

Bishop Saju officiated, and joined with members of the church, Jan’s family, friends, close colleagues and those of the wider diocese, to welcome their new Intercultural Pioneer Minister.

The service was culturally crafted to be a celebration of intercultural songs, readings and prayers.

“It really was fantastic,” says Jan. “I felt so welcomed by the people of St Paul’s, and friends and family came from all over the country. It was so special. Bishop Saju preached a blinder, and the food afterwards was amazing.”

Jan will be working with St Paul’s to help develop the church interculturally, walking alongside the congregation to pioneer initiatives that reach out to the local community in Oadby, of which 36.6% do not identify as White (according to the 2021 census).

The post has been made possible by Strategic Development Funding within the Intercultural Worshipping Communities Project.

“I feel so excited about my appointment,” says Jan. “I’m naturally nervous too - new beginnings are great but come with the inevitable settling in period.

“God has confirmed in so many ways that this is the place He wants me, so I look forward to seeing exactly what my role will look like in the coming months.

“My hopes are that I will become a real part of St Paul’s church and work with everyone there to join together in intercultural work,” she says.

“I pray that people from different nations and cultures would find a home in church and that the Church of England would be a place those searching for meaning find answers and ultimately Jesus.”

The Revd Steve Bailey, Rector of St Paul’s, says: “It’s a delight to welcome Jan to St Paul’s and we are very much looking forward to her ministry among us. Jan comes with a wealth of experience working across cultures and sharing faith in Jesus.

“We hope that during her time Jan will help us to grow further as an intercultural worshipping community. Do pray for us that the life transforming love of Jesus will shine out to all in our community.”

Jessie Tang, diocesan Intercultural Ministry Director, says: “We are delighted to be welcoming Jan to work together with us in helping to develop the diocese interculturally, so that churches can be more reflective of their diverse locality.”


First published on: 15th April 2024
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