Experiences of a travelling Lay Reader

Over a twenty-six year period I have been a Lay Reader in Drumcliffe, Co.Sligo; Saltash, Cornwall; and Portstewart, Co. L'Derry. Reflecting on the differences and similarities of the role of lay reader and the parishes I have known in Ireland, England and Northern Ireland, I have to remember that while lay readership might often be thought of as a “new” ministry, in fact the office goes back beyond the early church to the synagogue. Jesus himself was handed the scroll to read in the synagogue in Nazareth. His subsequent sermon was a lesson in brevity: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”.