More than Eighty Readers and many hundreds of parish clergy and congregations gathered at Durham Cathedral on Saturday 24th September to join in a celebration of 150 years of licensed Readers in the Church of England.
The occasion was also marked by the licensing of Jocelyn Bryan as a Reader in the Diocese of Durham the latest in to take on this important work of lay ministry in the Diocese in this 150th year.
The Right Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow and Warden of Readers in the Diocese who also lead the service said: “Readers are still a very important part of the Church of England. Readers are lay people who often act as a wonderful bridge between the Church and the wider community. Many of them are still working or working in the community and people often look to them to tell them about the Church and about Christian faith.
“Who could have imagined 150 years ago in Durham Cathedral that in 2016 there would be so many readers in the Diocese of Durham and that we would be standing outside the Cathedral releasing Balloons in celebration.
“The great thing about reader ministry is that it is constantly developing and changing as the world around us changes. I am immensely positive and hopeful about the next 150 years of Readers in the Diocese.”
Jocelyn Bryan who was until recently a Methodist local preacher commented that this is a really important new phase in my new home in the Church of England. She added “It’s very exciting and I feel very privileged at this significant moment in my vocation and I am really looking forward to serving in the parishes of Shotton and Haswell.”
Jocelyn is Director of Postgraduate studies at Cranmer Hall which is part of Durham University’s St John’s College. Durham University is responsible for the validation of all ordination training in the Church of England.
To mark the occasion the Reader service was concluded with an act of special celebration as balloons were released by Readers outside the Cathedral.
Images from the service can be viewed below and can be purchased here.