A group of Lay Readers are will be given special recognition at Lichfield Cathedral tomorrow (September 7).
With over four centuries of experience between them, the 16 will be joined by eight others who will be formally welcomed to the Diocese of Lichfield.
“Lay Readers are a vital part of our church communities,” said the Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill. “They first came about as ‘market-square theologians’ whose purpose was to lead the way in applying faith to everyday secular lives.
“Not many are active market traders now, but they represent all walks of life and so remain close to the moral dilemmas and difficulties that most people in congregations live with.
“This makes Lay Readers an invaluable part of parish leadership. It is great to celebrate so many voluntary ministries that have each lasted more than a quarter of a century.”
They also have a champion now in the shape of the Ven Paul Thomas, Archdeacon of Salop and also Warden of Readers.
He said: “While their role hasn’t always been afforded the honour it deserves, it should be remembered that Lay Readers are a dedicated group of individuals who, after intensive study, are shown to have the theological understanding and practical skills necessary to plan and lead worship, and to preach.”