Readers take up the challenge

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Eleven new Readers were licensed by Bishop Peter at Chester Cathedral on 21 October, along with five Readers moving into the diocese from elsewhere. Many from across the diocese came to support them, and a large number of serving Readers were also present, to renew their commitment to this important ministry.

The preacher was Simon Chesters, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Liverpool. In his sermon, Simon reminded Readers of their particular role in exercising a ‘bridge’ ministry bringing the church and the world together. Readers are licensed to preach, teach and lead worship but they also work in a huge variety of other roles, in pastoral work, in training and education and much more. They are theologically trained lay people who act as a skilled resource for the church. Readers also carry out the vitally important ministry of being informed lay people living out their faith in a huge variety of different walks of life. There are just under 500 licensed Readers in the Diocese of Chester  – one of the highest figures for a diocese in the Church of England.

Pictured with Bishop Peter from left to right: Paul Stevenson (Sandiway), Peter Ham (Hoylake), Christina Theobald (Wilmslow), Terence Hawes (Weston, St John), Deborah Rowlands (Wrenbury), Lynne Raphael (Ashton upon Mersey), Andrew Bradley-Gibbons (Eastham), Janet Malpas (Hollingworth), Malcolm Haigh (St Mary, Upton), Sue Hadden (Sandiway), Jeff Turnbull (Hoole).