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Celebrating 150 Years of Lay Ministry

by Michael Ford last modified 09 May, 2016 05:36 PM

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh joins hundreds for a service in London.

Celebrating 150 Years of Lay Ministry

Judy Anderson (third from left) with some of the Salisbury Diocesan LLMs

Over 600 lay ministers, also known as Readers or Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs), gathered with their patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and approximately 40 bishops and other clergy on 5 May – Ascension Day –  to mark their 150th anniversary at a special service at All Souls, Langham Place in London.

The Archbishop of York presided and the preacher was the Rt Revd Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man and Chair of the Readers Council. Fourteen LLMs attended from the Diocese of Salisbury, led by their Warden, the Bishop of Sherborne, and Associate Warden Judy Anderson.










HRH Prince Philip

Bishop Paterson said, “We were honoured that Prince Philip was able to join us and are grateful to him for his very many years as patron of the Readers Council.

“Readers are the unsung heroes of many churches, supporting clergy and congregations as well conducting funerals and acting as chaplains in places such as prisons and hospitals. It was important to be able to shine a light on this valuable form of ministry and give thanks for generations of quiet dedication and commitment.”

The Bishop of Sherborne with Judy Anderson

Associate Warden Judy Anderson said: “Stirring music was provided by Dr Noël Tredinnick and the All Souls Brass Ensemble, and the whole Festival Eucharist was a joyful and uplifting occasion.

“On Sunday 8 May, the anniversary was celebrated in churches all over the Diocese, with LLMs leading and preaching at many of the services.

“We look forward to #FOLLOW2016, a day festival open to anyone of any age or denomination, in Leicester on 16 July, and the Diocesan celebration in Salisbury Cathedral at 11 a.m. on Saturday 1 October, to which everyone is very welcome.”

Click here for more #FOLLOW2016 events

#FOLLOW2016 on Twitter

LLMs are licensed by their bishop to a teaching and preaching ministry. They work with ordained and lay colleagues, usually serving within a ministry team. There are currently over 9000 active LLMs and Readers in England and Wales.

Each diocese has its own programme of training with many being accredited by the University of Durham under the Common Awards scheme. Training usually lasts three years and is intended to develop both theological understanding and practical ministry skills.

Click here for our Lay Ministry page

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