Diocese’s two new readers to be licensed at Brecon Cathedral this Sunday

Two new readers will be licensed at a service at Brecon Cathedral this Sunday.

Readers are lay people in the Church in Wales, licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work.

Lizbeth Matthews, above left, of Blaenwysg Parish and Elizabeth Williams of Loughor have been studying for their new roles at St Padarn’s.

Elizabeth, a former teacher, said: “After the death of my husband three years ago I became more involved in Church activities. We have a team of worship leaders and I really enjoyed writing the reflections which I read as part of a morning praise service we have once a month.

“I asked the priest if I could do more and get more involved, I wasn’t sure what, and he suggested becoming a reader. That involved taking the Theology for Life course and I really enjoyed that, learning about the Church and the scriptures in more depth, especially the history of it.

“It was nice to make lots of new friends at these sessions and at the residential weekend and summer school.

“I’ve always gone to church. I became a bell-ringer in my teens and my husband and I went to church. We had a new vicar and he asked for volunteer worship leaders and I got more involved in that. I was doing readings and intercessions anyway, but I felt more involved when I was writing something and reading it to the congregation.

“I really enjoy doing that, putting what has inspired me and give it to them and see if makes them as excited as me. I really felt a calling then to do this readership.”

Lizbeth, who helps to run the family farm in Crai, said the role of reader is to be the “everyday face of faith and the Church within the community, helping to share the Gospel, not only through teaching but also through my actions and day-to-day living”.

“This process started when I did the Alpha course a few years ago and then I started to realise that it was more than just going to church on a Sunday. I also then had a clear message that I had to work with women and children so I volunteered through Girl Guiding at its world centre in Sangam working with young women and got more involved in the community. I was already doing Rainbows/Brownies and we started a Guides unit as well to work with young women and girls. We then started a Sunday school on a Monday called Off the Bus. Through that we run a holiday club and we also have a coffee morning once a month.

“I think it is important to have an opportunity to talk to children and young people about Christ but that this needs to be carried on throughout life into more mature years. Hopefully this is what is happening through Off the Bus, my involvement within Guiding and through our monthly coffee mornings and home visits.

“I run Off the Bus and the coffee mornings with a group of ladies and we have regular Bible study and what St Padarn’s has brought me is more in depth knowledge of the Bible and the Gospels.

“The great thing about it is networking and being able to speak to other people in the same situation as yourself.”

The service will take place a Brecon Cathedral on Sunday, June 16 at 3.30pm and all are welcome.