Celebrating over 100 years of a distinct and valued ministry

The Diocese of Liverpool is celebrating having reached a milestone in achieving over 100 years of Reader Ministry.

Bishop Richard gives a special message to our Readers
In a special service being held at Liverpool Cathedral on 27th September, a total of 17 new readers will be licensed. Bishop Richard, the Bishop of Warrington will be presiding in what will also be a celebration of thanksgiving for the centenary of Reader Ministry.

The service, which commences at 3pm, will see the 17 new candidates from numerous parishes licensed by Bishop Richard in front of their friends, family and supporters. Existing readers will then stand together for the first time to renew their promises as part of the celebration of 100 years which will conclude the service.

Spen Webster, Warden of Readers said “We thank God for the increased opportunities for readers over the years. Readers are now involved in many types of church work including teaching, preaching, leading certain services such as funerals and working with different groups of people within their parishes.”

Reflecting on the history and future of Reader Ministry, he said “A firm foundation built over the years has allowed a distinct and valued ministry to develop. The next generation of readers will be able to build on this solid foundation and be flexible to adapt for future changes in the Church life.”

The Diocese of Liverpool is one of the leading dioceses in the country for the support and development of Readers, with over 300 carrying out an active ministry. Rev Simon Chesters, Director of Studies for Readers and ordinands said “This is one of the largest groups of Readers we’ve had licensed as one year-group for a while, we also have a similarly large group starting training this month, so numbers of Readers in training are in very good health.” 

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A message from Bishop Paul

This is simply to say how much I am looking forward to beginning my public ministry in the Diocese and to working alongside you and our other colleagues in ministry and leadership. I shall be praying for you on this AGM and licensing day.

In my last post as Bishop of Hertford I was Warden of Readers for St Albans Diocese, and I know from experience how much our Readers contribute to our life together as a Church.

Please be sure of my own support and encouragement for you all – and please pray for Kate and me this week as we move house and begin to settle in to Bishop’s Lodge.

Bishop Paul Bayes
Bishop of Liverpool