THERE were special celebrations at two Craven churches recently when a much-loved member of the clergy was ordained as a priest.

The Reverend Emma Halliwell has served as curate in the joint benefice of Christ Church, Skipton and St Mary’s Carleton for the last 12 months.

She was one of four deacons ordained priests at a ceremony at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, June 22, presided over by the Bishop of Ripon, the Right Reverend Anna Eltringham.

The following day Emma presided over her first eucharist services at Christ Church and at St Mary’s.

The services were followed by a celebration lunch attended by Emma’s family and members of both congregations.

Emma will continue to work alongside the vicar of the joint benefice, the Rev Canon Kathia Shoesmith, as a Self-Supporting Minister (SSM). This means that she is in full-time employment and her work in the benefice will be on a part-time basis.

She will live in her own home in Ilkley with her husband, Simon, and daughter, Esme.

Emma trained for ordination part-time at St Hild College, where she read for an MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission, and also served at the national chair of the Ordinands’ Association.

While serving the churches, Emma has continued to work as a senior university lecturer specialising in property law and art law, having previously qualified as a solicitor.

In her spare time she enjoys being with family and friends, walking with, and trying to train, their puppy, improving her French, cooking, creating, listening to all kinds of music and reading detective novels.

Emma is particularly interested in choral music as a form of mission, as well as encouraging whole-life discipleship that helps people to see God at work in all parts of their lives.