Nico lives at our home Veronica House in Tipton, and is a lay preacher; a lay preacher is a preacher or a religious proclaimer who is not a formally ordained cleric and does not hold a formal university degree in theology. Lay preaching varies in importance between religions and their sects. He has been a lay preacher since 1988 and is part of the Anglican/Church of England faith. He can officiate at many services, including baptisms and funerals but not marriages.
What kind of service
Nico has taken on leading the religious services at Veronica House because he enjoys talking to people and can make the services more personal to the ladies and gentlemen residing here. For instance, at his services, he asks the ladies and gents what hymns they would like to sing each week and finds readings that relate to their lives. This week the hymns were ‘All things bright and beautiful, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus, ’ and ‘Lord of the dance’.
This week’s sermon will include Matthew 5:45 “In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Nico says he likes the idea that God commands nature, that he sends the rains or sun as he wishes.
He spends time researching the sermons and providing his group with a service programme in a large format to ensure that everyone can follow the service and feel included.
A passionate man
Faith obviously plays a big part in Nico’s life, but he is also a man who is passionate about helping people and used to be a trade union official for the NGA (National Graphical Association was a trade union representing typographers, printers and related workers in the United Kingdom.) When he worked at Kenrick & Jefferson Printing Works, he worked as a greeting card designer and worked on Cadbury’s Coaster biscuit design.
A local man
Nico is a local, having grown up and lived in and around West Bromwich/Smethwick for most of his life. He and his siblings are staunch West Bromwich Albion supports too, but don’t hold that against him!