Reading Stake Double Celebration

  Joel Matthews

  • 20th July 2013

The Reading Stake Double Celebration Choir, led by Professor Rosalind Hall

The current serving Stake President, Alistair Aitchison, commenting on the Reading Chapel said, “It has been the home of many special memories for all of us. We have always welcomed the local community with a special invitation to come unto Christ, and as a result, thousands of people have entered through these chapel doors and been spiritually uplifted.”

Several hundred members of the Reading Stake, both past and present, recently gathered at their chapel located on The Meadway in Tilehurst having cause for a double celebration.

Built in 1963, the Reading chapel has just reached an historical landmark of fifty years. Having played host to numerous marriage ceremonies, funerals and baptisms, along with many varied events and activities, this building which has also been the home of the organisation of the Church in the Reading, Oxford, Bracknell, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Newbury areas for exactly forty years, brings back precious and fond memories to many.

The weekend of celebrations was an opportunity for one of the ‘pioneering’ members of the Church in the Reading Stake, Professor Rosalind Hall, to return to her roots and conduct the choir for the event. Originating from South Wales, Professor Hall graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London and is now the Professor of Choral Music at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA.   

Excited to be a part of the momentous double celebrations, Professor Hall, who was the original conductor and founder of the Reading Mormon Choir, facilitated an enthusiastic and heart-warming choral workshop on the Saturday afternoon, which was followed in the evening by a reunion dinner for past members who sang with her during her days in the Stake.  She then led the choir during the following evening where both the Reading Chapel and Stake’s anniversaries were commemorated through music and words.

With the chapel decorated in wall and table displays allowing visitors to recall the past, Moira Peacock, one of the returning visitors remarked, “It was an awe-inspiring weekend and a wonderful opportunity to reminisce with friends, especially those who I’ve not seen for over twenty five years and finding they were still strong in their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The current serving Stake President, Alistair Aitchison, commenting on the Reading Chapel said, “It has been the home of many special memories for all of us. We have always welcomed the local community with a special invitation to come unto Christ, and as a result, thousands of people have entered through these chapel doors and been spiritually uplifted.”

President Mark Hawkins, 1st Counsellor in the Stake Presidency commented; “This chapel has played host to numerous projects where many of our members have had the opportunity to work with and serve the local community.  Our members strive to exemplify a Christ-like life through service, which has seen in recent year’s local schools, respite centres, hospitals and other community groups all benefiting from extensive love-filled facelifts, along with local councils receiving innumerable hours of voluntary service.”   

 
Elder LeGrand Richards organised the Reading Stake from the Thames Valley District and Bristol Stake in May 1973. The Stake currently consists of eight wards, with over two thousand members from more than thirty five different nationalities. In the last twelve years alone, over one hundred and ten young men, women and senior couples from the Stake have served full-time proselyting missionaries across the globe.