FOUR people from Redditch and another from Droitwich have been admitted to the office of reader in a short service at Worcester Cathedral by John Inge Bishop of Worcester.

The readers are trained and licensed lay ministers in the Church of England, and are authorised to exercise a ministry of preaching and teaching.

The readers had all undergone a two year training course before being admitted to the role, carrying out a range of tasks in their parishes and beyond.

Christine Tilley from St Peter’s Church in Ipsley, Redditch, added: “The last two years have been an amazing time for me. I had a wonderful time in my placement churches and have been extremely privileged to have experienced so many new things, and been involved in so many people’s lives too.

“The course has challenged and tested me in many different ways which I never thought possible, and with so many assignments and so much homework, it has at times pushed me to the limits, but I have learnt such a lot, and hopefully will now be able to go and put these things into practice in my own parish, working alongside the vicar and the other licensed lay ministers. I have loved the whole course from start to finish and have studied alongside some wonderful people and tutors, for which I shall always be thankful to God.”

James Homer from Elmley Lovett Church in Droitwich, added: “In learning how to serve God better, this has been a most deeply fulfilling, indeed life changing course; enhanced by the care and attention shown to us by all our tutors as well as the placement parish, and further enriched by being amongst my fellow course members.”

Giving the service, the Bishop of Worcester, Dr Inge said: “Readers, or licensed lay ministers, bring an enormous amount to the life of churches and the communities they serve. People brings their own unique gifts and skills to ministry in their parishes, working with the ordained clergy to share their faith with others and offer care to the wider community in the name of Jesus. I offer congratulations to all those who were admitted on Saturday and thanks to all the readers who serve faithfully across the diocese.”