Nine new Readers were licensed today to serve in parishes from Woore on the Shropshire/Cheshire border, to Ilam on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border and as far south as Heath Town in Wolverhampton.
And at an earlier Eucahrist service, Bishop Michael gave thanks for three Readers who have this year completed 25 years service in the diocese, Robyn Evans (Lilleshall and Muxton, unable to attend), Shirley Irons (Stretton with Claymills) and Mary Snape (Goldenhill and Tunstall). He also commissioned Revd Harvey Gibbons as the Warden of Readers to provide pastoral support to Readers across the diocese.
While delivering his 'charge' between the services, the Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave encouraged the imminent Readers to hold firm to their faith in the challenging times we live in, and emphasised that their lay ministry that is fully embedded with their secular lives is an important complement to the ordained colleagues they will work with - a special form of ministry that holds "parity of esteem, not a form of vicar-light".
In the celebration of their new ministries that followed, the sermon was preached by Debbie Parkes, herself a Reader and Lay Canon of the cathedral.
The full list of new Readers is:
Shrewsbury Episcopal Area
- Carol Preston licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Little Drayton and the benefice of Woore and Norton in Hales
Stafford Episcopal Area
- Anthony Clowes licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Biddulph Moor and Knypersley
- Clare Day licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Alstonfield, Ilam and Wetton
- Doreen English licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Cotes Heath and Standon and Swynnerton and Tittensor
Wolverhampton Episcopal Area
- Neil Bateman licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Brereton and Rugeley with Armitage
- Christine Beardmore licensed as a Reader in the benefice of The Penkridge Team Ministry
- Emma Bland licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Holy Trinity Heath Town
- Kevin Davies licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Aldridge
- Robert Vassell licensed as a Reader in the benefice of Holy Trinity Heath Town
A full album of photos from the services can be found on our Flickr account.