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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Two new Readers for Midi-Pyrénées and Aude

Canon Hawkin presents Clive and Janet to be admitted to the office of Reader
Some of our French "parishes" cover a geographic area that larger than Wales. One of those is the Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées and Aude which serves Anglicans and English-speaking Christians in a vast area in the South West of France, from just below Limoges to the border with Spain and Andorra. The English-speaking population is well over 100,000. Regular services are held in 7 locations across the pastoral area.

The pastoral area of Midi-Pyrénées and Aude
The Chaplain is the Revd Canon Andrew Hawken and the Assistant Chaplain is the Revd June Hutchinson. They are assisted by a larger team of about 6 priests with Permission to Officiate. Essential to the ministry team, as in so many other places in the Diocese, are Licensed Lay Ministers commonly known as Readers.

Two new Readers were admitted to this office and licensed to serve in the parish during my recent pastoral visit on 28 February, Mrs Janet Varty and Mr Clive Billenness, This brings the number of Readers to 5 in  Midi-Pyrénées and Aude. Janet and Clive recently completed the thorough programme of theological, pastoral, liturgical and homiletic study which takes on average 3 years from the time of their selection for this ministry. It was a joy to admit them to this office and commission them to work with the parish team. This solemn moment of commitment was witnessed by over 130 members of the parish present for the celebration.

New Readers on admission receive a copy of the New Testament, a sign of their authorisation as preachers and teachers of the Faith
Readers are the "lay theologians" in the diocese, equipped and authorised to preach and teach the faith, to lead liturgies of the word, and to share in pastoral duties with the clergy. These Lay Ministers are an integral part of our diocesan life; we now have about 120 with about another 40 in training. Their ministry is often the envy of our ecumenical partners, who, by and large, do not have such an office of authorised lay ministry.

Janet and Clive with their blue "preaching scarves" a further a sign of their office

1 comment:

  1. Delighted to read this and to celebrate the growth of lay leadership in DiE in the next door parish!