Elizabeth Binns MBE
Elizabeth is currently employed by Bury Council as Principal Libraries and Adult Learning Officer (Social Inclusion), a position she has held since 2006. She has worked for the council since 1986 and has primarily been involved in managing and developing services to combat exclusion and promote library use amongst groups and individuals who would not normally consider libraries as either relevant or accessible. Amongst the services she has been responsible for managing and developing are: the Housebound Library Service; Hearing and Visual Impairment Units; services to cultural minorities; the Reminiscence Service and Bury’s nationally recognised Outreach Library Service.
Elizabeth has spoken to many groups, all over the country, about Bury’s groundbreaking programme and her work in this area was recognised in 2006 when she was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen.
In 2005 Elizabeth was ordained as a priest in the Church of England and is currently Associate Priest in the parish of St. John with St. Mark, Bury (Diocese of Manchester). Her work both as a priest and as council officer complement each other well, as both roles involve working to benefit communities and individuals.
As a priest Elizabeth is involved in a full ministry both in and out of the church. She leads worship, preaches and conducts baptisms, weddings and funerals as well as providing pastoral support. She is chair of the North and East Churches Together Ecumenical Group which aims to bring a variety of Christian faiths together as well as supporting interfaith working. This is again linked to her ‘council life’ as she chairs the corporate Religion and Belief Group and is on the committee of Bury Asian Women’s Centre. Elizabeth is also a youth leader and is involved in both the educational and social life of the church.
Elizabeth is a great dog lover and is often to found walking round the parish with her four dogs: Thomas; Harriet; Harvey and Patrick, who despite their various crimes and misdemeanours are greatly loved and are invaluable in providing opportunities to meet both parishioners and local residents.