Chris Graham reflects on his licencing
So, as of Sunday 4 October, it’s official – and I have a fine blue scarf to prove it! I have joined Julie and John as a Lay Reader, licensed to St Peter’s and available to help out at St Elizabeth’s too. Readers can lead worship and preach in church, but they’re members of the congregation too. We’re here to listen where we’re needed, and to help where we can.
It was all touch and go until the last minute. At one point it looked as if it would all be done remotely – by Zoom. Then word came ‘that we could come to the Cathedral, but no friends or family. And wear a mask. All that was hard; but the service itself was inspiring. It was Choral Evensong, and the trebles were back in the choir – for the first time in seven months. We had some of my favourite music – Stanford and Elgar. And I got to read one of the lessons too.
It’s just ten years since Mary and I moved to Hale. The house we first rented was (just) in the parish of Bowdon; but I’m so glad we chose to come to St Peter’s. Over the years, I’ve realised what and how I can contribute – and felt a strong call to get on with it. Kaz and Giselle and their predecessors have encouraged me. So many St Peter’s people helped with my training over the past two years. St Elizabeth’s people too have been very tolerant of my attempts at preaching.
Three years ago, I was persuaded to be a group leader for the Foundations for Ministry course on Tuesday evenings in St Peter’s House. It was a cause of much joy last week that my Yellow Group had produced five Readers and one Pastoral Worker.
So a big thank you. I shall try my best to repay your kindness and confidence in the weeks, months – and, I hope, years – ahead!
May God bless us all,