THE Diocese of Chelmsford welcomes its first parish nurse who will give wellbeing support to residents.

The Right Reverend Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester affirmed Jo Lacey as parish nurse for the North Blackwater parishes at a ceremony at St Nicholas Church, Tolleshunt Major.

Her role will involve leading befriending events, providing confidential health and wellbeing drop-in sessions, and offering mental health-focused home support visits in Tolleshunt Major, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Tollesbury and Salcott-cum Virley.

The service is supported by the charity Parish Nursing Ministries UK.

Jo worked as a registered Specialist Community Public Health Nurse in the NHS and abroad for nearly 30 years.

She said: “I feel so humbled to have been called by God to begin this new professional and spiritual journey of health ministry.”

Bishop Roger Morris added: “Some years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting regularly with Revd Helen Wordsworth - the UK Coordinator of Parish Nursing Ministries - just as the charity was establishing itself in the UK.

“I was hugely inspired by the vision for people who could act as a bridge between the medical care that a person is receiving and the pastoral and practical support that they also need.

“I am hugely excited that, some 15 years later, the ministry has reached the shores of Essex and the Blackwater parishes in particular.

“It has been a delight to witness Jo’s sense of call develop and I look forward to seeing her ministry flourish.”