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Originally written for Ministers at Work the Journal of CHRISM

Reading at Work is an entirely lay led workplace ministry based in and around the town of Reading, Berkshire. I have been leading it for the last 12 years and I work as a scientist for a utilities company.

 

In the late 1990’s as a result of several prayer meetings, faith and work study groups formed in different churches in the town, the most significant of these were Greyfriars, an evangelical Anglican and Wycliffe Baptist. These groups, whilst operating with the blessing of the church leadership, were run by members of the congregations, who were active in the local business community rather than the church leadership.

After a couple of years of doing things independently, the groups discovered each other and decided that rather than focus on their own churches, that they would team up to develop a cross town ministry.

 

The aim has always been, to inspire those within the church to think about how to be a Christian in their job. I have always been struck by the idea that I am a missionary to my workplace and that I should treat that in the same way that I would if I had been called to go to Africa.

 

In recent times we have done this in three ways

 

Inspire – mostly this has been about bringing in speakers, who can then get people thinking about how their work is part of the kingdom. We have had Christian business leaders and senior Church leaders and speakers from organisations such as ICF, LICC & Transform Work UK.

 

Pray – We have always wanted to make space for people to pray both about their work and business in general. A small keen group has been meeting every month for the last 12 years to pray for Businesses in the town.

 

Connect - Making connections has often been one of the most significant parts of what we do. From the beginning we have realised that we cannot do everything, or even as much as we would like because we are a group of volunteers fitting this around our full time jobs. So we have made a point of supporting and working with other organisations. The most significant one recently has been Transform Work UK where we have helped them to grow Christian workplace groups. We have also spent a lot of time connecting with the local Gather group of churches and we have seen that the interest in workplaces in the churches in the town has grown significantly.

 

We have not found this to be easy, but we have found that whilst progress has been slow, God has given us new connections and opportunities on a regular basis.

We are very grateful for the way that God has led us as a small group of lay people using their spare time to make a difference and the way that he has enabled us to do the work whilst largely operating without a budget. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we are looking forward to new ways of working, the main one being to move to being predominantly online. This is both as a response to COVID 19, but also because we believe that is how God is calling us to reach to more people.

 

We hope that our story has helped and inspired and if you want to learn more, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.