Reader ministry in Bath and Wells is under the oversight of the Diocesan Warden of Readers and the Readers’ Council.
The first Saturday in October each year is Readers’ Day in the diocese. In the morning, Readers gather for a training event, and in the afternoon they attend the Annual Readers’ Service in the Cathedral. At this service, newly trained Readers are licensed and welcomed, and we all reaffirm our commitment to serve God through our ministry as Readers. You can find details on our event calendar by clicking the event link on right hand side.
Our Handbook for Reader Ministry, which is available to download below, offers important guidance to those who have been Readers for many years, as well as being of interest to those who are contemplating Reader ministry.
The School of Formation is responsible for the training of new Readers. There is detailed information about the process of selection and training in the Reader Handbook. Ministry for Mission also puts on an extensive programme of Continuing Ministerial Development each year, with day courses open to clergy and Readers.
Considering training to become a Reader?
If you are thinking of becoming a Reader you would probably benefit from speaking with a Reader in your area and with your incumbent.
There are also some interesting videos in the Ministry for Mission section of the website from a selection of Readers and Readers-in-training in which they talk about why they felt called to the role.
Recommended reading for anyone considering Reader ministry is Reader Ministry Explored, which gives an overview of Reader ministry with its historical, practical and anecdotal insights.
Annual Reader Return
Readers are licensed or granted permission to officiate by the bishops. As a part of this Readers must complete an Annual Return. This document helps Readers reflect on their ministry, including activities and training undertaken that year.
Church of England Central Readers Council (CRC)
The Church of England Readers website is well worth exploring. It features latest news, events, resources and information, as well as the Reader Forum where you can ask fellow Readers for ideas, discover creative liturgies, seek help with resources or even ask for help with sermons.
Extended Communion Guidelines
There are guidelines available for clergy, Readers and parochial church councils on the provision for Extended Communion, when the Bishop gives permission for the act of Holy Communion in exceptional circumstances when a priest is not present.
Readers, like clergy and everyone else who holds a Bishop’s licence, are subject under the new Church of England Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2015 to requirements relating to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). There is more information about this in the Reader Handbook and in the Safeguarding document, both of which are available below.