7 February 2024
Caroline Harding LLM (Licensed Lay Minister) has been commissioned as the new Warden of Readers for the Diocese of Chelmsford, following her appointment by Bishop Guli in December.
Caroline will work closely with the Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Revd Adam Atkinson who is the Episcopal Lead for Lay Ministry. Together they will work to support, promote and develop lay ministry across our Diocese.
The role of Warden of Readers was previously held by Bishop John Perumbalath who left Chelmsford Diocese to become Bishop of Liverpool last year. Caroline had served as Acting Warden of Readers since Bishop John’s departure. She has been the Diocese of Chelmsford Lay Ministry Adviser since 2020 and has served as a Licensed Lay Minister with six parishes in the Harlow Deanery since 2015.
Commenting at the time of Caroline’s appointment, Bishop Guli said:
“I am delighted that we will have a Licensed Lay Minister as Warden of Readers. Alongside Caroline will be Bishop Adam, who will be the Episcopal lead for lay ministry and they will work closely together. Please do pray for Caroline as she begins this role - though she knows well the lie of the land, the challenges and opportunities. I’m confident that the approach of teamwork and leadership that Caroline will continue to express and develop as Warden of Readers will be greatly welcomed by colleagues across the Diocese.”
Bishop Adam commented:
“Caroline is well known to lay ministers across our diocese and to those who are exploring and discerning a vocation in lay ministry. As Lay Ministry Adviser, and Acting Warden of Readers, she has been a great servant to our lay ministers and the role they play in our parishes and worshipping communities. I am very much looking forward to working with her to support, promote and develop this vital ministry in the life of our diocese.’
Caroline Harding LLM said:
“I am delighted and excited to have been asked to take up this important role in the life of the Diocese of Chelmsford. I look forward to serving with Bishop Adam and together we shall continue to encourage, enable, and support the amazing Lay Ministers we have in this Diocese, as well as equipping others to hear God’s call to take up this important ministry. The role of Warden of Readers relies heavily on the ministries of Area Wardens and Deanery Lay Ministry Advisers, and I should like to thank all those who hold these roles for their support whilst I have held the role in an interim capacity, and I look forward to continuing to serve with them as we travel together.”