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Friday, 16 December 2016

Readers come together to explore pastoral principles for their ministry

The Readers and Readers in Training, with the Director of Reader Ministry, the Revd Elaine Labourel, (3rd from left)
A  workshop for our lay ministers (Readers) was held recently. It was entitled "Pastoral Principles for Readers". It was very well attended and clearly well received. One of the participants, Simone Yallop, a reader in training in the Anglican Church in Twente, Netherlands, wrote this article:

In the weekend of 28-30 October 2016 a group of 22 Readers and Readers-in-Training gathered at St Columba’s House in Woking for a Diocesan workshop on Pastoral Principles. Under the expert leadership of the Revd Elaine Labourel (Diocesan Director of Readers) and Ms Alexandra Wheeler, we learned about what pastoral care really is and how to build pastoral relationships. Using various exercises, generally in groups of two, we discovered what it is that makes a good listener as well as what to do and what not to do during a pastoral visit.

Alexandra addresses the group
The workshop was also an excellent opportunity to exchange news from around the Diocese, to meet up with old friends and to make new ones. It was a good time of worship and fellowship.

In the final session we were given the example of an ideal pastoral encounter in Luke 24:13-35 as Jesus came alongside his disciples on the road to Emmaus. In their despair Jesus listens to them, he gives them freedom to react, he mirrors and reflects back, he reminds them of what they already know in the scriptures and he builds a bridge of trust. When he is recognized in the breaking of the bread, Jesus disappears and lets them move on.

After an uplifting Eucharist we also moved on, full of inspiration, to return to our own parts of the Diocese.


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