'A wonderful, joyful occasion' - Much-missed Baldock fundraiser's mother is licensed as church reader

PUBLISHED: 16:09 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:50 16 May 2017

Newly licensed St Mary's of Baldock reader Katrina Nice, far left, after the ceremony at St Albans Cathedral with the Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley, right, and St Mary's vicar Rev Andrew Holford, behind Katrina. Picture: Robert Enoch

Newly licensed St Mary's of Baldock reader Katrina Nice, far left, after the ceremony at St Albans Cathedral with the Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley, right, and St Mary's vicar Rev Andrew Holford, behind Katrina. Picture: Robert Enoch

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The mother of an inspirational wheelchair-using fundraiser from Baldock who died aged just 19 has been licensed to preach in the church they both loved.

The Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley after the licensing service at St Albans Cathedral with new readers including St Mary's of Baldock reader Katrina Nice, far left, Martin Hannon of St Paul's of Letchworth, far right, and Dawn Jenkins of the Hitchin and St Paul's Walden team ministry, third from right in the front row. At far left is the Archdeacon of Hertford Ven Janet Mackenzie. Picture: Robert EnochThe Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley after the licensing service at St Albans Cathedral with new readers including St Mary's of Baldock reader Katrina Nice, far left, Martin Hannon of St Paul's of Letchworth, far right, and Dawn Jenkins of the Hitchin and St Paul's Walden team ministry, third from right in the front row. At far left is the Archdeacon of Hertford Ven Janet Mackenzie. Picture: Robert Enoch

Katrina Nice, of St Mary’s Church in Baldock, was licensed as a reader by the Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley at St Albans Cathedral on Sunday, following years of study.

Katrina’s daughter Victoria died in September last year after a lifetime with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and only a month after using a handcrank wheelchair attachment to power herself 5km around London’s Olympic Park for charity.

Victoria was also an enthusiastic member of St Mary’s – and being a reader means Katrina can now preach and lead worship there.

Katrina said: “It was a wonderful, joyful occasion – there must have been 300, 400 people there. People said that I couldn’t stop smiling.

Victoria Nice uses the handcrank attachment to her wheelchair to power herself 5km around the Olympic Park in London last year, supported by mum Katrina.Victoria Nice uses the handcrank attachment to her wheelchair to power herself 5km around the Olympic Park in London last year, supported by mum Katrina.

“I thought I might find it really emotional because Victoria wasn’t there. I had some tears about that on the way there, and painted my nails – I never do – in her honour. Then I just entered into the moment and it at all flowed.”

She added: “This is about spreading the gospel into everyday life, not about me.

“I think readers take church into the world, and bring experience of the world into church.”

St Mary’s vicar Rev Andrew Holford told the Comet: “We’re delighted that Katrina has joined our licensed staff team.

The Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley after the licensing service at St Albans Cathedral with new readers including Martin Hannon of St Paul's of Letchworth, far right, and Dawn Jenkins of the Hitchin and St Paul's Walden team ministry, third from right in the front row. Picture: Robert EnochThe Bishop of Hertford Rt Rev Michael Beasley after the licensing service at St Albans Cathedral with new readers including Martin Hannon of St Paul's of Letchworth, far right, and Dawn Jenkins of the Hitchin and St Paul's Walden team ministry, third from right in the front row. Picture: Robert Enoch

“She’s an excellent preacher and is able to communicate to a wide number of people in an accessible way. We look forward to continuing to work with her at St Mary’s.”

Also licensed as readers at the same service were Martin Hannon, of St Paul’s Church in Letchworth, and Dawn Jenkins from the Hitchin and St Paul’s Walden team ministry.

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