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Welcome to a new year, and also a new era, as we welcome Bishop Martyn as the new chair of CRC. Some of you may remember him from Follow 16, which took place in his diocese, and he is now looking forward to getting to know the Reader movement better. So a welcome and two farewells, as this first issue of 2017 is my last one as editor of The Reader, and Alan Wakely, our retiring CRC secretary, offers us his last ‘Last Word’.
Our theme for this spring issue is Worship and Music, a topic close to my heart and hopefully yours as well. We look at this through the perspective of five very different articles covering cathedral worship; music in the context of pastoral care; music and hearing loss, and a diocese’s experience of using the course Worship for Today. Soon we will need to start preparations for recollecting the end of WW1 and here we can discover about an exciting new musical setting for Wilfred Owen’s poem Strange Meeting.
There are again plenty of articles written by Readers, and I am glad that during my time as editor the number of Readers willing to write has increased considerably, so please do keep this up! Non-theme contributions this time include one on ‘discipleship as a process of becoming’, and another by Iain Upton, a blind veteran, who tells us about discovering life beyond sight loss. Barry Armstrong, a Reader from London Diocese has written ‘Praying in Penitence’ considering Psalm 51:10 where the psalmist prays ‘create in me a clean heart’. David Kibble from Leeds reflects on interfaith relations, while the Churches Urban Fund shows how they can resource us to release the potential of the community in which we live.
Last but not least we have an article by Hazel Southam, who works for the Bible Society. Hazel writes about the experience of taking the project ‘Open the Book’ to school children in Cheltenham. This involves team working – good for grown-ups, and dressing up – good for children. And it brings Bible stories to life, making them very memorable for all concerned. ‘Open the Book’ now takes place in nearly 2,500 schools but more volunteers are needed. Maybe this could be a new expression of your Reader ministry…? After all, we all need to explore the new possibilities for ministry and mission to which God may be calling us.
Talking of new expressions, the next theme will be ‘Pioneer Ministry’ and I am sure Richenda would like to hear from you as soon as possible if you are interested in writing on this. (You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.) The third theme this year will be about the Reformation, 2017 being the 500th anniversary of this momentous event. The winter issue will focus on Spirituality and so holds within it the prospect of many interesting articles. So please keep Richenda, or whoever ends up with the role of Editor, well supplied with articles on these topics or something else that inspires you to write!Incidentally, please be aware that the Editor’s email address has changed. It is now email@example.com
Finally my thanks to Richenda, who of late has been helping me, as well as Kirsty and her predecessors as Reviews Editors. Also to the proof readers, Kevin our designer and all those who have been involved in this ministry over the past 10 years. I am amazed to think that in May this year it would have been 10 years since Alan Wakely rung to offer me the job and that led to my first issue appearing at the end of 2007.
I am still involved in two magazines here in the Church in Wales. Hopefully too we will soon move to St Asaph, be involved with the cathedral there, and see what other ministry opportunities God has in store! Whatever transpires, I will always thank God for this time with you and I have immensely enjoyed editing the magazine. Also I am especially pleased that out of it has come a much stronger connection regarding Reader ministry between the Church of England and the Church in Wales. In addition, every time I see it I shall remember that the Reader logo is based on the Celtic ‘St Non’s Cross’ which I wear regularly, and so was spotted by Bishop Robert and inspired the design.
So my sincere thanks to everyone: I will always have a special affection for the Reader movement and will keep taking the magazine myself. Above all, let Christ go on leading you into the new. It may not be that easy, but if we trust in Him it can be very fruitful.
God bless you all!
Editorial - HEATHER FENTON
Letter from Bishop Martyn - THE RT REVD MARTYN SNOW
THEME – MUSIC AND WORSHIP
Inspiration and influence – cathedral music in the 21st century - PAUL LEGRAVE
Pastoral care perceived through the prism of music - GREGORY CLIFTON-SMITH
Where is worship when the music’s gone? - VIVIEN WHITFIELD
Worship 4 Today: A course to note from a Southwark perspective - MARK PULLINGER
A new setting of Owen’s ‘Strange Meeting’ to raise funds for the Royal British Legion - BRIAN BERESFORD
The shape of discipleship - KATHARYN MUMBY AND EDWARD HOBBS
Opening the Bible for schoolchildren - HAZEL SOUTHAM
Visiting Cordoba: Reflecting on interfaith relations - DAVID KIBBLE
Church Urban Fund: Changing lives and communities together - ELIZABETH BRAMLEY
Praying in penitence - BARRIE ARMSTRONG
Discovering life beyond sight loss - IAIN UPTON
Need To Know More
Regional Readers rejoice! - MARGARET TINSLEY
Celebrating through the nation - DIOCESES OF EXETER, GLOUCESTER, LEEDS
Following through Formation - ROSEMARY WALTERS
Chrysogon Bamber: details of Award
New CRC Secretary announced
Introducing Rosemary Walters
Gazette and In Memoriam
Last Word - ALAN WAKELY