On the last Saturday of October, Ely Cathedral hosted a celebration of 150 years of Reader Ministry. The day celebrated Readers and their ministry with workshops, worship, the sharing of ideas and the giving of thanks.
Readers are lay people, called by God, who have then been trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach and lead worship.
The celebration followed a national event held earlier in the year at All Souls, Langham Place, London, where readers from across the country were invited to attend.
This local celebration was arranged to recognise Readers in the eastern region and to provide a chance for Readers, clergy, friends and family to come and celebrate together.
Readers from the Diocese of Ely, Chelmsford, St Albans, St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, Norwich and Peterborough all came to celebrate together.
Steve Mashford, Warden of Readers for the Ely Diocese and instrumental in organising the day’s celebration adds: “I was delighted to have had the opportunity to arrange this wonderful day. Ely Diocese was one of the first to embrace the need for Readers all those years ago and being here today, celebrating the work Readers do, in this glorious setting of Ely Cathedral has been very special”.
The Rt Revd Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon, added: “Saturday’s celebration in Ely Cathedral was a remarkable occasion, as Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers from the six dioceses of the Eastern Region gathered to give thanks for 150 years of Reader ministry.
Between them, these lay ministers undertake over 1000 duties a week in our region and reach out well beyond those too.
They help us go deeper in faith as they open the scriptures with us. They grow the discipleship and ministry of their fellow lay Christians in our congregations. And reaching well beyond their official duties they engage with every aspect of our society “bringing God into the conversation” on the high street and in the workplace, in the gym and in the gaol.
We celebrate their ministry in the Diocese of Ely, and look to invite many more into their company too. Later this month I am hosting our second “party with a purpose” for those who would like to know more about being an LLM, and if you get in touch with my office I would love to invite you to join me then”