I have been a Reader (lay minister) in the Church of England since 1979. My wife has been a Reader since 1994. When the role of Licensed Lay Minister (“LLM”) was introduced in our diocese we were both too old to hold licences; we have permission to officiate in the diocese instead. By definition, therefore, we were unable to become LLMs and remained Readers. Actually we quite like the title.
We are both based in the parish church where we have worshipped since getting married over 45 years ago. It has a good congregation and a reputation as a very friendly and welcoming church. The building is Norman altough, like many others, it was extensively refurbished by the Victorians. Two extensions were built in the 1970s and 1980s to provide a hall, meeting rooms, kitchen and toilets. Before Covid-19 these were well-used during the week by both church and community groups.
In normal times we had eleven church services a week, four on Sunday and the rest on weekdays. That’s not counting the occasional services such as weddings, baptisms and funerals. The Sunday services included “Sunday Special”, which ran at the same time as our main 10:30 service and was aimed particularly at young families. We are now continuing online with just two services a week on Sundays, a recorded communion service available on YouTube from 8 am and Sunday Special via Zoom at 10:30.