Diocese of Carlisle

    Service of celebration for Reader ministry

    Latest News
    30 Nov. 2023

    Dozens of people attended a special service at Carlisle Cathedral to celebrate lay ministry and welcome newly licensed Readers.

    The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Rob Saner-Haigh officiated at the annual Reader and Admission Licensing Service which took place on Saturday 18 November at 2pm.

    It saw the following people licensed:

    • Kay Hall newly licensed to serve Dacre, Watermillock, and Matterdale
    • Rachel Rose newly licensed to serve the Benefice of Workington
    • Charlotte Lait newly licensed to serve the Benefice of Workington
    • Wendy Mellor newly licensed to serve the Benefice of St Bees
    • Diana Lesley Jackson transferred from the Diocese of Blackburn to serve the Benefice of Beetham and Arnside
    • Elaine Geenhalgh was welcomed to the Diocese after transferring from the Diocese of Manchester

    Each was presented with a Bible and with this being the quinquennial year, all Readers were requested to attend in order that their licences could be renewed in person.

    Annie Garden, Warden of Readers, said: “It is always such a thrill to have our Readers gather together in this way in order that we can collectively welcome new members to the fold and also give thanks to God for the wonderful ministry that every lay Reader offers.”

    There are currently 89 Readers in the Diocese of Carlisle who work with clergy and churchgoers in communities across Cumbria to spread the Gospel message. They can lead worship or preach on a Sunday.

    Their licence is recognised nationally, and if they have a move due to family or work circumstances, then they can be licensed in their new parish or diocese.

    As today’s Church becomes more diverse, increasingly Readers are finding a ministry not just in the life of their parish church but also in the workplace, the community, Fresh Expressions of church and in chaplaincy (schools, prisons, hospitals, the armed forces).

    Bishop Rob said: “It was a joy to be a part of this service and to be able to welcome our newly licensed Readers whilst also paying tribute to the work of all our Local Lay Ministers as a whole.

    “I’d ask that people continue to hold them all in prayer as they support the churches and communities which they serve so dutifully.”


    Picture captioning

    From the left: Wendy Mellor, Charlotte lait, Kay Hall, Bishop Rob Saner-Haigh, Rachel Rose, Elaine Greenhalgh, Lesley Jackson

    For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.