Photos by www.davidashphotography.org
On Saturday 18 January at Birmingham Cathedral, 16 new Readers were licensed to offer a lay ministry of preaching, teaching, and leading worship in their places of worship and their communities around the Diocese. It was a wonderful, uplifting occasion, with the Cathedral full of supporters for the candidates from their churches, family and friends and many licensed Readers also present.
During the service, the Warden of Readers, the Revd Martin Stephenson, introduced the new candidates to Bishop David, who admitted them to the office of Reader in the Church of England and then they received their blue preaching scarves. This year, in addition to those who will be ministering in parish churches, one candidate, a student, was the first to be licensed to the chaplaincy at the University of Birmingham. The tutors from the Reader training programme led the prayers and the Director of Readers’ Training, Liz Howlett, preached on the theme of Called to Share in God’s Mission of Overflowing Love to the World.
At the end of the service, all the Readers present were invited to reaffirm their commitment to their ministries in God’s name.