A congregation from the Tanat Valley and beyond filled St Melangell’s Church, Pennant Melangell last Sunday (11 December) to welcome the Reverend Christine Browne as she started her new ministry as the Priest Guardian of the Shrine Church.
Pennant Melangell draws people from across the world to experience the beauty and solitude of this holy place. The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, who led the service said:‘The ministry of Pennant Melangell is special and distinctive, so we are pleased that we have someone who can resonate with that tradition in the new Shrine Priest. Christine will be working hard to welcome many to this ancient sanctuary.’
Christine Browne was ordained deacon in 1990, having previously taught in Yorkshire and London, and later became one of the first women to be priested in the Church of England.
During her ministry, Christine has served in parishes in former mining communities in Nottinghamshire and then the West Midlands where, for nine years, she held a dual role post as parish priest and Industrial Missioner with the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission.
Outreach has always been a priority for Christine and chaplaincies with Rolls Royce Aerospace, the Royal Marines Association, the Prison Service and the Merry Hill retail centre facilitated this. In 2014 Christine moved to the Church in Wales to three seaside parishes in south west Wales.
Now that Christine has arrived at Pennant Melangell her particular gifts in spirituality, healing, pilgrimage and chaplaincy will develop the ministry of welcome and spiritual care to the wide range of people who journey to this remote spot nestling in the Berwyn mountains.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of all those who have developed the vision and outreach of the church down the years since St Melangell came to this valley’ says Christine Browne.
‘May St Melangell’s example of prayer, compassion and practical response facilitate whatever lies ahead as people continue to come to this place to find God’s guidance, healing and hope.”