On Saturday 15th of October eight new readers were licensed in the Diocese of Chester, including Sam Denniss in the Parish of Heswall and the transfer of Mike Barritt into our Parish. Below is a photo of Sam and Mike with the Revd Martin Cannam, Rector of Heswall Parish.
It was a special day, no less than because this year is the 150th anniversary of the reintroduction of Reader ministry in the Church of England. Bishop Libby officiated and the preacher was The Rt Revd Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, who commended all Readers to exercise their unique role to be “much less churchy!”
Sam shared his journey of study and practice with seven others from the Diocese and it was a particularly moving day for all of them as a group as well as individuals. Responding to one another, one of those licensed wrote to Sam and his companions:
“Saturday was such an emotional day and in the part of the service where we had to turn around and face the congregation to see a full cathedral, well, I nearly lost it and blubbed.
To feel such overwhelming love and support is incredible, an experience that we have been so privileged to have shared together. But it wasn’t restricted to the cathedral; I’ve been amazed at the cards, phone calls and texts from those who, for various reasons were unable to attend. The love, support and just sheer joy they’ve expressed has been truly humbling.
I just didn’t realise that so many people cared so much about what I, and all of us, have been doing for these past few years.
We couldn’t have made this journey on our own and we owe so many so much. To God for calling us to this ministry in the first place, to all those at Church House on the Diocesan team who’ve shepherded us, to the All Saints community for putting up with us and to ourselves, as a cohort, who have been there for each other.
To quote Winston Churchill, “This isn’t the end, this isn’t the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning”. This weekend is a milestone on our journey, one we will always vividly remember as we continue onward with our new licensed ministry.”