News Release

New Church Leaders for Reading

The Reading area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had its semi-annual conference on June 25-26. At the conference, President Alistair Aitchison completed his term of service and a new Stake President  (regional Church leader) was put in place. The Stake Presidency presides over eight congregations: Reading, Oxford 1 & Oxford 2, Farnborough, Woodley, Newbury, Basingstoke and Bracknell.

More than 600 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met to sustain the selection of the new presidency: Stake President Andrew G. Smith, of the Reading congregation, First Counsellor Jeremy Dick, of the Newbury congregation, and Second Counsellor Gregory J. Leece, of the Reading congregation.  Two General Authorities, Elder Tom-Atle Herland an Area Seventy and Elder Timothy J. Dyches 2nd Counsellor in the Europe Area Presidency, presided over the meetings.

President Smith served a full-time mission in the England London Mission from 1991-1993, married Christina Margerison in 1995 and graduated in Chemistry from the University of Liverpool in 1997. In the same year he joined Eli Lilly as a research chemist, subsequently trained as a European Patent Attorney and qualified in 2006. President Smith and his wife have four children aged between 8 and 16 years old. President Smith remarked, “This weekend, we have been privileged to reflect upon the 8 years of inspired counsel and service of President Alistair Aitchison and his counsellors Paul Norris, Mark Hawkins and Barry Lea. We have been blessed with instruction from Elder Dyches and Elder Herland on living the simple principles of the gospel and how obedience to these principles will fill our lamps and strengthen our personal relationship with the Saviour. We are excited to carry forward the spirit of this conference and to receive these blessings into our homes.”

This new Stake Presidency serve as the key administrators and spiritual leaders for the Reading area. Approximately 2300 members of the LDS church reside within the boundaries of the Stake.

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