Readers celebrate centenary of Central Readers’ Council

Published: Tuesday August 2, 2022

Readers with the Archbishop of York outside Bishopsthorpe PalaceOn Saturday 16 July, two Readers represented the Diocese of Gloucester at a garden party at Bishopsthorpe Palace hosted by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, to mark the centenary of the Central Readers’ Council.

Every diocese in England and Wales was invited to nominate two Readers to attend and Sue Rodford and Linda Jarvis went along to represent the Diocese of Gloucester. The group were treated to afternoon tea in a marquee on the grounds of the Palace.

Sue Rodford, Sub-Warden of Readers for Gloucester City Deanery, said, “It was a privilege to join Readers from across the country to celebrate the Central Readers’ Council Centennial hosted by the Archbishop of York and his wife. The diversity of experience of Reader Ministry was fascinating and encouraging. We were thrilled to be allowed to explore the Archbishop’s palace – steeped in history. Definitely a day to remember.”

Linda Jarvis, Sub-Warden of Readers for Stroud Deanery, said, “The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell and his wife, Rebecca, made us all very welcome at their home, Bishopthorpe Palace, where Readers from all over England and Wales gathered to celebrate 100 years of the Central Readers’ Council. It was a day I will never forgot not least because I had the privilege of meeting a fellow female Reader who was licensed 50 years ago, making her one of the first women Readers in the country – Reader ministry for women did not begin until 1969.”

Readers sat in the marquee at Bishopsthorpe Palace garden

Lee Barnes, Lay Ministry Officer & Warden of Readers, commented, “I am delighted that Linda and Sue were able to attend this event and represent the whole Reader community from the Diocese of Gloucester.

“The Central Readers’ Council continues to play a pivotal role in supporting Readers and other lay ministries with the focus of enabling Readers to be leaders in church and society, enable others in mission in the everyday and in teaching the Christian faith. I am pleased that their work over a 100 years could be celebrated and acknowledged.

“Prayers for the CRC as we look ahead to the future.”

To find out more about the Central Reader’s Council visit the Transforming Ministry website.

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