HM Duke of Edinburgh joins celebration of 150 years of Reader ministry

Over 600 lay ministers, or Readers, gathered with their patron, HM The Duke of Edinburgh and approximately 40 bishops and other clergy on 5 May to mark their 150th anniversary at a special service at All Souls, Langham Place in London.

Chair of the Readers Council, the Rt Revd Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, said, ‘We were honoured that Prince Philip was able to join us and are grateful to him for his very many years as patron of the Readers Council. Readers are the unsung heroes of many churches, supporting clergy and congregations as well conducting funerals and acting as chaplains in places such as prisons and hospitals. It was important to be able to shine a light on this valuable form of ministry and give thanks for generations of quiet dedication and commitment.’

Readers are lay people from all walks of life who are licensed by their bishop to a teaching and preaching ministry. They work with ordained and lay colleagues, usually serving within a ministry team. There are currently over 9000 active readers in England and Wales.

Each diocese has its own programme of training with many being accredited by the University of Durham under the Common Awards scheme. Training usually lasts three years and is intended to develop both theological understanding and practical ministry skills.

150th anniversary celebrations will continue on 16 July at De Montfort Hall, Leicestershire with Follow 2016, a day festival, open to everyone of any age or denomination and sponsored by the Central Readers Council. Alan Wakely, Secretary to the Readers Council said, ‘Following the All Souls service of thanksgiving for what has been and what we have, this festival will look forward - growing lay discipleship.’

Speakers include Paula Gooder, writer and lecturer in Biblical studies, Mark Russell, Church Army Chief Executive, Mark Greene, author and speaker from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, Debbie Thrower, former broadcaster and champion of BRF’s the gift of year’s initiative, and Paul Blakey, founder of the Street Angels movement.

National C of E news Releases
Webpage icon London churches to help the capital bee greener
Webpage icon A prayer for all students awaiting their exam results
Webpage icon Discussion Paper on Welfare
Webpage icon New plans to expand network of support on money and debt
Webpage icon Theological literacy boosted by new Christianity resource for schools
Webpage icon Church Commissioners announce total 2015 return on investments at 8.2%
Webpage icon Government’s English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review welcomed by
Webpage icon CofE senior manager recognised in two national LGBT awards
Webpage icon Prayers for HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday published
Webpage icon National C of E news Releases
Webpage icon 22 cathedrals benefit from First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund
Webpage icon Rap song released highlights the dangers of pay-day industry “Grooming young p
Webpage icon BNP and National Front incompatible with teaching of Church
Webpage icon New building licence to help churches remove bats
Webpage icon Church of England launches new Church Legacy website
Webpage icon Bishops Welcome Participant Observers to First Meeting
Webpage icon Church boosts digital presence with new app
Webpage icon Scheme launched for would-be young vicars
Webpage icon Prayers for November 2013 General Synod
Webpage icon Women in the Episcopate: Statement from the Archbishops
Webpage icon Archbishop Justin meets Pope Francis in Rome
Webpage icon London Beyond Sight – the capital’s churches inspire
Webpage icon New-look Reflections app takes Mark the Evangelist’s message to new audience
Webpage icon Girlguiding should keep God in its Promise and provide space for young to explor
Webpage icon Vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad: no better time than Lent to reflect

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656