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Our anniversary year, 2016, has been long anticipated, and is now upon us. This issue of The Reader is the one which will be current for the national celebrations which begin on the Feast of the Ascension. The Minutes of that historic meeting on this day in 1866, are reproduced overleaf. I wonder what the people whose names appear on the original minutes would have made of our work as Readers these days? Sadly we cannot know but we can celebrate what we have been given and what we have achieved.
I expect others in the future will look at this magazine, and when they have finished being amazed by how we did things now, will hopefully learn something from us as well as discovering something of what it is like now! Meanwhile I hope that, as with each issue of the magazine, this one enables us to learn both from each other as Readers, and from our fellow Christians who serve Christ with us in other ways in the Church of England and the Church in Wales. As you will see, the names of Welsh bishops appear amongst the founders, and I am particularly pleased that during my editorship and as a member of the Church in Wales myself, we have been able to reinvigorate the Reader link.
We are privileged to have a letter from our Patron, HRH Prince Philip. There are also birthday greetings from the Anglican Communion. Bishop Robert Paterson, as the lead Bishop for Reader ministry, has contributed an article entitled ‘Looking back… looking forward’. This has a number of quotes from people involved in Reader ministry, and, as you might imagine, make an interesting snap- shot of how they see things now and in turn these quotes may interest future historians. Continuing the celebratory theme, I have been looking at some back issues of The Reader magazine and this has proved really interesting, giving a snapshot of the movement as it was in years gone by. Francis Young, an historian, has written about the origin of the movement.
2016 is of course also one in which we remember more the horrors of World War One, and the secretary of the Central Reader’s Council, Alan Wakely, who is also an historian, has given us another perspective on that anniversary and ways in which it is remembered. Meanwhile, Sean Oliver–Dee helps us to see that there is evidence that there actually is church growth here and now in the UK. Talking of the UK, there is a contribution from Christians in Politics about the need for Christians to be being involved in politics here in the UK. Politics could increasingly become a hot topic as we prepare for the referendum and whatever the implications turn out to be.
Meanwhile articles reflecting current Readers ministries continue to arrive. There are still pastoral situations with which we may be called to engage – in this issue we learn about being alongside those who have suffered a miscarriage. Another Reader, Jean Watson, helps us with an encouraging article about developing our own creativity and enabling others to do so too.
So please keep the articles coming. We really like to hear from you. Themes for the rest of this year are ‘Ethics’ and ‘The Old Testament’. However please get in touch with me just as soon as possible as we are now having to work further ahead for practical reasons!
So enjoy this great anniversary – and may there be many more to come!
150 YEARS OF READER MINISTRY
Letter from our Patron
Looking Back... Looking Forward - BISHOP ROBERT PATERSON
Collects and intercessions for the Anniversary
Congratulations on your ‘big birthday! - The Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon
Celebrating The Reader magazine - Heather Fenton
1866 And All That - Francis Young
Anniversaries and Stories - Luke Walton
The Servant Queen and the King she serves - PAUL WOOLLEY
Need to Know More?
Church Groth in Britain - Really? - Sean Oliver-Dee
Miscarriage and Pastoral Care - Emma Major
Walls and Warfare - Alan Wakely
Politics is for life, not just elections - Alison Hill
Creativity for all? - Jean Watson
Last Word - Alan Wakely
Following through formation - Rosemary Walters
Follow 2016 – Latest
Introducing Marion Gray
Congratulations to Chrysogon Bamber