By Becky Carr

FOUR lay ministers of Wyre Forest parishes have been licensed in a ceremony in Worcester Cathedral after completing a two-year training course.

The ceremony admitted seven people in total from across the Diocese of Worcester to the office of Reader.

The four Wyre Forest readers licensed were Christine Clarke for Bayton and the Wyre Forest Benefice, Barbara Fauset for Bewdley, Julia Quinn for Areley Kings and Elaine Voice for St Chad’s and the Kidderminster East team.

The Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Dudley, who held the ceremony, said that the newly-appointed lay ministers would find it a great privilege.

Bishop David said: “I welcome our new readers to a hugely demanding but richly rewarding ministry. They will be active both inside the church and in leading the work of the church in their local communities.”

Readers are entitled to preach, assist their parishes, hold teaching groups and lead worship.

Barbara Fauset, lay minister for Bewdley, explained: “It is a challenge and also very humbling. Readers can train to take funerals and I’m hoping to be able to do this.”

The service also included preacher Janice Price, World Mission Adviser for the Church of England and previously a reader in the Diocese of Worcester.

Lay minister for Areley Kings, Julia Quinn said: “The training has definitely been a journey but we’ve had fun, sharing the high points, supporting one another and learning together.”