LIVERPOOL university has named its first lay full-time chaplain. Catherine Cockburn, a 23-year-old tutor in the Faculty of Law at the university of Leicester, has been named by Liverpool archdiocese to assist Fr Michael Garvey as of this month.
The university has described news of Ms Cockburn's appointment as "indicative of the serious commitment which the Catholic Church is now making to the laity in sharing in ministerial roles which previously would have been the province of clergy and religious".
Ms Cockburn has decided to put to one side a lucrative career in the field of legal practice because of her desire to "support the Catholic Church's programme of renewal".
Speaking of her appointment she said: "Though progress has been slow, there are areas of lay involvement in the Catholic Church which are now opening up. In addition, 1 was struck by the fact that this post was also open to women which is a sign of the Church's willingness to meet the needs of a society in which women are no longer content to play a secondary role".