“Reading Minster is an embodiment of a place of reflection and a sacred space to serve the community, with a place and a time for prayer for all.”
Situated in the heart of the city, Reading Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin offers a quiet space amidst the rush of urban life, providing support for those who are marginalised in their local community and helping those "who face real issues over their work-life balance, job security and poverty in spirit.”
The site of the Minster has hosted Christian buildings since the late 10th century, and the building you see today was extensively restored in 1551 from the ruins of Reading Abbey, consecrated in 1164 by Thomas Becket.
The Revd Sonya Wratten started at Reading Minster in 2021. Prior to ordination, Sonya worked in community development and regeneration, and she cites her role as a community development worker at the Diocese of Southwark as a key part of her decision to become an ordained minister. 2021 saw the 10th anniversary of her ordination, and Sonya is sure that this role is God’s way of allowing her work in regeneration to come full circle.
Sonya is joined by the Revd Andrew Bond, associate vicar, and the Revd Judith Sumner, associate minister.
The Reading ministry team comprises of just under 40 stipendiary incumbents, associates and curates and the same number of self-supporting and retired clergy, who work with around 3,000 Christians, serving the 250,000 people of the Reading deanery.
Reading Minster has regular weekly services onsite and online, as well as hosting many special events throughout the year.
Quotes taken from the Reading Minster website.
Sanctuary in the city centre
For five years, Reading Minster has been opening its doors on a Friday and Saturday night to support those in the city in need and offer a safe space for anyone who needs it.
From Street Pastors to paramedics, the Minster and its dedicated volunteer team provide a sanctuary in the city centre. Several projects run throughout the evening and on into the early hours of the morning, the latest going on until three am.
Watch the BBC report below and read more here.