The Reader Hub is for all Readers in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. Feel free to suggest additions and interesting news. Please send your contributions to Elizabeth Harper.
Latest Reader Hub News
- Reading Group – looking at Tom Wright’s God and the Pandemic. Thursday, August 6th 7.30 pm. For more information contact Julia Gratton julia.gratton @ bathwells.anglican.org with READER BOOK GROUP in the subject line.
- Retreat for Readers at Ammerdown 9-11 November 2020. Book here.
- Licence Renewal. If you have had a letter to renew this year see here for more details.
- Bishop Martyn’s PowerPoint from the 2019 Readers’ Day and a Summary of the Day by Chris Stocks.
- Central Readers Council has a new website Transforming Ministry.
Menu for the Reader Hub:
Annual Readers Day
Annual Reader Review
Central Readers Council
Continuing Ministerial Development for Readers
Extended Communion Guidelines
Renewing your Licence
Resources and Contributions
Who to Contact
Other useful Reader links
Please expand the links below, use the menu below or see the downloads and page links at the bottom. The Reader Hub is for you, so do recommend additions that you would find helpful.
Annual Reader’s Day
The Annual Readers’ Day is usually held at the start of October. In the morning, Readers gather for their annual training event, followed, in the afternoon, by the annual Readers’ Service in the Cathedral. At this service, the Bishop licences newly trained Readers and welcomes readers transferring to the Diocese. After this, all Readers reaffirm their commitment to serve God through their Reader Ministry. Therefore, Reader’s Day offers an important part of continuing development, support and renewal of our commitment to Reader Ministry. Thus, the Diocese hopes that all Readers will make this a priority. See further p.11 of the Reader Handbook. Click here for the 2019 Readers Study Programme and Bp Martyn’s PowerPoint Slides. The 2020 Reader Day is under review and may turn into an online session if we cannot meet at the Blue School.
Annual Reader Review
Readers have a licenced ministry delegated to them by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The responsibilities of such a licence include completing an annual self-evaluation review with their incumbent. In addition, an annual statistical return gives the Diocese and National Church an overview of the ministries being carried out. The Warden of Readers provides the form in early December. As well, there is opportunity to reflect on support needed and development goals for the next year. It also ensures that the Reader and their incumbent have a chance to reflect on the state of their collaborative working relationship. Following the incumbent’s meeting, the review is shared with the Archdeaconry Warden of Readers to ensure proper support is given.
- Reader Statistics and data form (Excel) or PDF format or complete 2019 Statistics Form online
- Self Evaluation Form
- Letter re Annual review to Readers and Incumbents
Click here for a summary of the 2018 Statistics. Previous Statistics can be found below. See further, p.11 of the Reader Handbook.
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. Lifelong learning modules are being created that count as CMD and the new website is developing ministry aids.
CMD for Readers
All ministry requires continued ministerial, spiritual and personal development. What constitutes development will be unique to each individual and becomes a matter for discussion in your annual review. To facilitate such lifelong learning the Diocese creates an annual Continuing Ministerial Development programme, and invites Readers to attend whatever helps from the list. Attendance at the Reader’s Day and Archdeaconry Days (Jan- Feb each year) also creates another important strand of CMD.
If you want to go deeper into theological study or update your theological knowledge, the Lay Training Page lists Diocesan courses and University level courses that may be of interest. Or download the Courses for theological study list. See further p.13 of the Reader Handbook.
Every Day Faith
Everyday Faith is part of the Diocesan response to the national initiative related to the Setting God’s People Free Report. You will find here resources to help encourage lay people in their faith in ordinary life. These arose initially out of the 2019 and 2020 Archdeaconry Days but will continue to be developed.
Extended Communion Guidelines
As part of the Reader role you are licenced to take communion to the sick, housebound and those in care homes. For Church-based Communion services, there are guidelines available for clergy, Readers and parochial church councils on the provision for Extended Communion within corporate worship. In exceptional circumstances, the Bishop will give permission for the administration of the act of Holy Communion without a priest present. Please, therefore, read the Extended Communion Guidelines below. If you have any questions or wish to exercise this ministry please contact the Bishop’s chaplain.
Our Handbook for Reader Ministry offers important guidance for all Readers. You can download it below, as well. Please consult the Handbook as first port of call if you have any questions. After that, the Deanery Wardens, Archdeaconry Wardens, the Warden of Readers and the Reader Council can offer help with questions and pastoral support.
The Training Team of Ministry for Mission is responsible for the training of new Readers. There is detailed information about the process of selection and training in the Reader Handbook and on the Reader Training page. Ministry for Mission also puts on an extensive continuing ministerial development programme of training for Readers, clergy and other lay leaders each year. The training team sends the programmes to every licenced Reader around July- August each year. If you do not receive a copy please contact the Lay Ministries Enabler and we will be able to send a copy. The 2020-2021 booklet has been suspended until we are able to meet again but there are online training events listed in the calenar.
Renewing your Licence
- checking you have an up to date Diocesan DBS
- ensuring that you have done C3 or C1 & C2 Safeguarding training in the last 3 years
- revising your Ministry Specification so that it accurately reflects your ministry. Please adapt the Ministry Specification Template.
- undertaking a more detailed review of your Reader Ministry with your incumbent (or Area dean in a vacancy). This can replace the new year review but let your Archdeaconry Warden know and still do the Stats form. A Summary needs to be sent with your renewal.
- asking the PCC for a resolution confirming your renewal
These documents should be sent with your current licence to the Warden of Readers before it expires. More details are available on p.20 of the Reader Handbook. The Warden of Readers will send you a reminder at the start of the year. We are standardising licence dates and so your new licence will go to the start of October
Note: the Diocese no longer issues new Permission to Officiate licences (PTO). Your licence gets renewed until such time as you, or your incumbent, feels that it is time to become a Reader Emeritus.
Reader Hub Resources, Links and Contributions
The following links have been recommended. Let us know any of any others:
Readers, like clergy and everyone else who holds a Bishop’s licence, are subject to the Church of England Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2015. Thus, Readers need to have a an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report (5 yearly) and undergo 3 yearly safeguarding training. More information can also be found in the guidelines below. Safeguarding Training can be booked from the Safeguarding page. There are special courses especially for Readers, but any C1 and C2 training can be taken. See further on p.14 of the Reader Handbook.
On this page we will share events we are notified about that may be of interest to Readers.
- Reader Day 2020 – more details early September
- Reader Retreat November 2020
Who to Contact
- The Warden of Readers: Simon Hill has overall responsibility for Reader Ministry in the Diocese. Julia Gratton is his PA and responsible for renewal of licences.
- The Archdeaconry Wardens: Trevor Cranshaw (Bath); Robin Lodge (Taunton); Graham Witts (Wells) have pastoral responsibility for Readers in their archdeaconry
- Deanery Wardens: Each deanery has a Deanery Warden who is a Reader who provides a listening ear and organises local fellowships. Contact the Warden’s administrator Julia Gratton if you don’t know who your Warden is. Axbridge, Yeovil and Chew Magna warden posts are currently vacant. If you are in these deaneries, then do consider this role. It is an important role but not demanding.
- Lay Ministries Enabler: Elizabeth Harper has responsibility for Reader training and continuing ministerial development and is spokesperson for Reader ministry in the Diocesan Office. Leonie Jones is Lay Ministries Administrator.
- Diocesan Reader Council: The Reader Council looks after Diocesan Reader gatherings. Anne Sear is Secretary and Chris Stocks processes the Reader Returns.
Alternate years the Readers Council organises a retreat for Readers in the diocese. We have booked Ammerdown for Monday 9th – 11th November 2020 and are currently planning the time. Booking and details of the day of the day are now available. Also watch out for more info in your Reader Update.
Thanks to Paula Hollingsworth and Mat Thompson for leading a great Racecourse training day in 2019 and Richard Brown and the Reader Council for organizing it. Here are some photos. More can be found at the Diocesan Facebook page. The next Racecourse day is planned for 2021.