The latest cohort of seven new lay ‘Readers’ were admitted and licensed recently into the Church of England in Lancashire by Rt Rev Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley, at a service in Lancaster Priory.
Readers are volunteer lay ministers who work alongside the clergy in local churches. Their duties vary but they typically help to lead church services, preach and offer pastoral care and support to people in the local community.
Pictured after the service are (l-r) Michael Whittaker (Trinity Church Accrington); Rev Canon Andrew Holliday, Warden of Readers; Alan Johnson (Leyland St James); Aaron McLean (Fulwood Christ Church); Gail Whittaker (Trinity Church Accrington); Rt Rev Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley; Victoria Bentley (Blackpool St Thomas); Janet Parker (Langho St Leonards); Greg Doughty (Blackpool Layton and Staining).
Bishop Philip said today: “It is always powerful to see people make time and commit their gifts to the service of the church and so it was a real joy to license our new Readers. In my sermon I told them to be like body builders … building up the body of Christ and equipping it for mission and service.”
Rev Canon Andrew Holliday, Warden of Readers, added: “It was a sheer joy to see our new Readers begin their new chapter in ministry - congratulations to them and our prayers for them and the parishes in which they will serve.”
The new Readers trained at our local All Saints Training Centre located at the Diocesan Offices in Blackburn, which is headed up by Rev Matt Allen, Director of Studies.
Rev Nick McKee, the Diocesan Director of Vocations, also commented: “I’m excited to welcome these seven new Readers who will join us in our mission to share the good news of Jesus with the people of Lancashire.”