Celebrating Lay Ministries in Bath and Wells

26th June 2024

On Saturday 22 June, more than 170 people gathered at St Paul’s Church in Weston super Mare to give thanks for all who serve in lay ministry in Bath and Wells. This special event highlighted the diverse ways in which lay people contribute to the church and their community, from Parish Safeguarding Officers to those who have completed courses in Pioneering or spirituality. At the Celebration of Lay Ministries, we came together to celebrate their gifts and their commitment to serving God, their church and community.

The theme for this year’s celebration was harmony, emphasising the importance of each individual’s unique voice and contribution. The service affirmed the value of every person, recognising their distinct roles and the gifts each brings to their church and community. 

Together, we listened to the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, through The Magnificat, the Dwelling in the Word Bible passage for this year. During the service we heard from people of all ages, in new ministries, as well as those who have exercised a ministry over several years. 

Ian Bailey shared his experiences from the Christian Motorcyclists Association, where he spreads the love of God to those, he meets outside the traditional church setting. He said, "People talk to us about their problems. Bikers aren't people who want to share things they are worried or concerned about so we can be there to listen. I see my role as my ministry, I am out of the box and in the community doing something I felt God wanted me to do. I am a practical Christian, I hope I am an inspiration by the way I live my life"

Steven Loader, spoke about his work with the Mission to Seafarers, providing support and help and to some of the 1.89 million crewmen and women who help keep our global economy afloat. He said, "I prayed to God to ask Him to show me how I could serve Him and not long after a friend invited me to join the Mission to Seafarers. I believe your ministry allows you to share the love and compassion of Jesus. I would say to anyone else looking to find their ministry, start praying and see what happens."

Bishop Michael joined the celebration to affirm and bless all those in ministry, he emphasised the dedication of those who serve in lay ministry. The Celebration of Lay Ministries is a powerful reminder of the many and unique ways lay people demonstrate their commitment to serving God. He said, "The modle of church is one of diversity, each playing their part, each with their own gifts to bring. It also represents unity and a common purpose, we need all of us together, united behind the same purpose to live and tell the story of Jesus. I thank God for each of you, for all that you do and all that you give."


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