In contrast to the usual full cathedral, COVID-19 precautions meant that only a very limited number of people could be present, so we introduce the new Readers here (below).
Warden of Readers, The Venerable Karen Hutchinson, says, “Readers come from a wide diversity of occupations and backgrounds and provide a vital link to the world of work, witnessing to the unchanging love of God in their communities and in their everyday lives.
“Readers are enablers and encouragers of other lay Christians helping them to make use of their gifts in the service of God. Some Readers are involved in pioneer ministries and fresh expressions of church, and there is now specialist training available for those ministries in addition to more traditional roles.”
If you have never thought about becoming a Reader – or thought it isn’t for you – then take a look here and think again!
Our seven new readers:
“Training for Reader ministry over the last two years has been an enriching experience, bringing worship and the Bible to life through theological study. It has also been challenging, alongside work as a clinical psychologist and family life with two teenagers. However, I’d recommend it to anyone feeling that call. I’m excited now to become fledged as part of the Reepham and Wensum Valley ministry team and hoping to share that joy of learning and understanding. I also hope to explore further where mental health and spirituality meet.”
“I am based at St Mary’s Church in Watton and my full-time employment is with the Methodist Forces Board as a military chaplaincy family worker. I am excited to be using my gifts and passion and all I’ve been learning during the training to engage with people literally outside the church. I’m excited to be growing Wild Church and to meet with people and connect with God and others in creation.”
“I had been a carer for my mother for many years, and after she passed away, I had a strong call from God to do something more and become a Reader. The training has been challenging but rewarding and I have been blessed meeting some wonderful people. I was only able to complete the training with the terrific support of my church, providing lifts to wherever I needed to be. I look forward to serving God in my role as a Reader at St Andrew’s, Roman Hill in Lowestoft.”
“Someone told me many years ago that I should be a Reader, but my answer was always: ‘I’ll never preach’. However, in 2017 I had a dream that I was robing in the cathedral, and two separate people whom I had never met before both asked if I’d thought about going further into ministry?’ I met with a vocation advisor and I went for selection in early 2018. Two years of training with ERMC have flown by. I’m looking forward to working with other members of the ministry team in my benefice (and, yes, I do now preach!).”
“I will be licensed to serve at St Catherine’s, Mile Cross. I am part of the ministry team there and am looking forward to becoming more involved with the ministry and outreach into the area as lockdown eases, and seeing where it takes me. As an ex-funeral arranger, I would like the opportunity to be involved in funeral ministry in the parish in due course, and also the opportunity to explore chaplaincy work.”
“I was born in The Netherlands and raised in a Dutch Reformed family. Married to Austin – who is team vicar in the Tas Valley – and caring for our three teenagers, God has been preparing me over the past 25 years for the ministry I am about to enter now formally. As I am passionate about God, I do have a heart for outreach, and love to encourage anyone who I come across. While journeying together in the highs, lows and times in between, it will be underpinned by a ministry of prayer and healing.”
“I have historically struggled to settle and focus into my calling to serve, just as in most other aspects of life. But studying with ERMC, with its wide catchment including Europe – and a strong sense of community – has helped prepare and steady me. So I look forward very much to seeing how licensed Reader ministry, and the rich and varied pattern of its expression in the diocese, can also bring blessings to all concerned in the community health context.”