Michael Echlin - Emeritus Reader

On Sunday 25th June, Bishop James made a surprise diversion to St Matthew’s Wigmore, en route to St Peter’s Bredhurst (also in South Gillingham Parish) where he was celebrating their 150th anniversary.

At St Matthew’s, Bishop James presented Michael Echlin a letter of thanks and an Emeritus Reader certificate, in recognition of Michael’s 53 years of Reader ministry – 51 of them at St Matthew’s. Over the years Michael has been involved in many aspects of the ministry of St Matthew’s, and was very committed to the young people’s work and summer camps - including taking previous youth groups to camp at Taize in France. Even now Michael can often be found sitting on the church floor on a Monday morning playing with the toddlers at the weekly 139 drop in coffee morning.

Michael has always been actively supported by Ann, and the Team Rector Brian Senior acknowledged this presenting Ann with flowers and Michael with a book token. Ann was in on the secret of Michael’s presentation, and had invited the family to church and for lunch afterwards – but Michael (and most of the congregation) had no idea the Bishop was coming. Ann said afterwards “It made it such a special occasion for him”

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