Writing in her blog, the Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton, has praised Reader ministry but warned it is a vocation that is often “unsung and overlooked” and called for greater recognition, support and encouragement for people in all forms of vocation.
The blog was timed to coincide with celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the restoration of Reader ministry in the Church of England. She said Reader ministry is “alive and well” in the Diocese of Bath & Wells but that we should not “sit back and rest on our laurels”.
Bishop Ruth says: “There has been much talk about re-imagining ministry and yet little appears to change. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of individual good ideas or examples…that show room for innovation and possibility. But the Church appears to be slow in responding with systematic change. Identification of a variety of vocations and training pathways, and the authorising of new ministries are seen as ‘outside of the box’ rather than beginning to be recognised as ways in which we need to change and grow. The report ‘From Anecdote to Evidence’ had to use the term ‘lay lay leaders’ to describe the ways in which the laity are discovering vocations as leaders within their communities and parishes. There continues to be no formal recognition, authorisation or investment. If we continue to ignore this valuable resource we will be neglecting our responsibilities to fully support and appreciate such ministry.”
Follow Bishop Ruth on twitter: @tauntonbish
If you think God is calling you to Reader ministry, contact your local Warden of Readers. All of the information can be found on the Readers page of our website. Follow the link at the foot of this page.