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Sunday 19th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday before Advent with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Coffee Hour
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Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Ricky Yates

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Jack Noonan licensed as a Reader


Jack Noonan with Bishop Geoffrey Rowell following his licensing as a Reader © Ricky Yates

The annual meeting of the Eastern Archdeaconry Synod took place at Attica near Athens, between Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September. The Eastern Archdeaconry of the Diocese in Europe covers a vast area stretching from Prague in the west to Vladivostok in the east, and from Moscow in the north to Izmir in the south. It is almost certainly the largest Archdeaconry anywhere in the Anglican Communion!

During the Synod meeting, a Eucharist was celebrated by Archdeacon Patrick Curran, to mark the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels on 29th September. Within the service, Bishop Geoffrey licensed Jack Noonan as a Reader to serve the Chaplaincy of St. Clement’s, Prague in the Czech Republic.

A licensed Reader is authorised to preach, lead non-Eucharistic services and undertake pastoral work. A Reader does this, working alongside and under the direction of their ordained Incumbent – in Jack’s case, me 🙂  A Reader remains a lay person, hence you will sometimes hear the title ‘Lay Reader’ being used. More recently, several dioceses in England, including Oxford Diocese where I previously served before coming to Prague, have adopted the title ‘Licensed Lay Minister’.

Jack receiving his licence from Bishop Geoffrey © Ricky Yates

The licensing on Saturday 29th September, marked the culmination of a process that began more than two years ago, when a meeting of the Prague Church Council on 1st May 2010, agreed to support Jack being put forward for consideration for training as a Reader. Bishop Geoffrey was actually present at that meeting on his first visit to Prague since I became Chaplain four years ago. He has since taken a personal interest in Jack’s progress, frequently suggesting books which might further aid his studies. Therefore both Jack and I were very pleased that Bishop Geoffrey was able to license Jack in person rather than by delegation to the Archdeacon or to me. Jack is now in his third year as one of our two lay reps on the Archdeaconry Synod and is therefore well known by many of the other Synod members who were most supportive of him on this very special occasion.

Rev’d Ricky Yates

From l to r, Jack Noonan, Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, Rev’d Ricky Yates, Archdeacon Patrick Curran © Ricky Yates