As the second diocesan conference of Readers began in Cologne on Friday evening 19th May 2017, the opening Eucharist began with a symbolic action of the sixty Readers, standing around the outside of the chapel in Kardinal Schulte Haus, demonstrating the distance and diversity of their ministry in our huge diocese.

Then, as a hymn invoking God’s Spirit was sung, they moved into the church seats and from isolation to a united body.

In his sermon Bishop David, Warden of Readers, reminded them that the Eucharist is the most important church event which is far more important than Church Councils or Ministry Team meetings. This service is our central activity.

He spoke about the power of God’s Holy Spirit to inspire our ministry - the breath of the spirit lies at the root of the word “inspire”. He said that the conference will include consideration of religion and politics, religion and science and to our mission to reach out to the overlooked and disadvantaged.

“Readers are often on the front line of mission because of their lay status”, he said, commending the conference theme, “Send us out in the power of Your Spirit to live and work to Your praise and glory.”

(Pictured below - the dispersed Readers gathering, gathered and sharing the Peace).