As with most things in 2020, the service to celebrate Reader Ministry took a new format at the weekend.

Due to Covid-19, the usual service full of pomp and ceremony with choir, processions and the attendance of family, friends, members of our churches and Readers could not take place. Instead it was decided to hold two services – one face-to-face Saturday in Truro Cathedral and a second will be a Zoom service on October 10 at 11am for the actual gathering of all Readers.

Two very different services for a year that has been restrictive. At the service at the cathedral five new Readers were Admitted and Licensed.

On October 10, one new Reader (Roy Cooper) will be Admitted and Licensed and two Readers (Michael Waring and Christopher Clark) who are new to the diocese will be welcomed via Zoom.

On Saturday, in his first Reader service as Bishop of St Germans, Hugh Nelson Admitted and Licensed Deborah Mitchell, Matthew Frost, Penelope Leach, Sandra Massie and Deborah Crocker as Readers. Although the service did not follow its normal form, it was nonetheless special.

“Reader service very, very special”

The organist and cantor made such a difference. The singing by the Cantor was uplifting and beautiful. The service was calm, dignified and not rushed – it was intimate, reflective, spiritual and very, very special.

Bishop Hugh preached on Luke 10: 1-12 (read by Debbie Crocker), the sending out of the 70 in pairs to every town and place where Jesus intended to visit. In the sermon Bishop Hugh linked the sending out of the 70 to Reader Ministry in which Readers move from work/community to church and then back again.

Debbie Mitchell and Penny Leach led the intercessions.

Bishop Hugh spoke of the wonderful thing that had happened that day as five new Readers were welcomed into a new ministry.

“More spiritual”

New Reader Debbie Crocker said: “I thought it was a wonderful experience and personally I suspect I found it far more spiritual than I would have with a cathedral full of people and all the associated pomp and ceremony.”

Another new Reader, Debbie Mitchell added: “I was especially struck by the prayerfulness of the occasion.”

Read Bishop Hugh’s sermon here.