Readers are lay ministers, called to enable mission, teach the faith and offer leadership in church and society. They have a Bishop’s licence which allows them to lead services and preach. They also undertake pastoral and missional work arising from these ministries.
Discerning a calling to Reader ministry
If Reader ministry appeals to you, and you think God is calling you to this ministry, then we recommend the following discernment process:
- Talk first to your local minister. You will need your minister’s support and the support of your church, as you will be working closely together.
- Your minister will then put you in touch with the Diocesan Vocations team. They will appoint a local Chaplain for Discerning Calling.
- The Chaplain will explore, with you, your gifts and calling. They will help you see the variety of ministries available and help you discern which is right for you.
- If Reader ministry seems appropriate, you will then go to see your Archdeaconry Warden of Readers. The Warden will give you more information and help you explore more deeply what Reader ministry is about.
- If Reader ministry seems right for you, the Warden will send you to this page to download the forms you will need.
- The forms below will prepare you for attending a Reader Selection Conference. At the conference, selectors will discuss your calling with you. If Reader Ministry seems the way forward you will be recommended for training.
- You will undertake between 1 and 3 years of training, depending on the theological study you have already attended. At the end of training the Bishop, on the advice of the training institution and the benefice, will decide whether licencing as a Reader is appropriate for you.
The Reader Selection Conference
The Selection Conferences usually take place on a Saturday, at the diocesan offices in Wells. They consist of a series of interviews, a ministry problem to be discussed with another candidate and a short talk to the whole group.
A typical timetable is:
- 9:30 Arrive, welcome, worship and introductions
- 10.55 Interviews 1 and 2
- 12.10 Interview 3 and pairs discussion
- 1.00 Lunch
- 1.45 Talks
- 2.30 Conclusion and depart
Who to contact
The Ven Simon Hill, Archdeacon of Taunton and Diocesan Warden of Readers
Mary Dolman, Archdeaconry Warden of Readers - Bath
Revd Robin Lodge, Archdeaconry Warden of Readers - Taunton
Chris Stock, Archdeaconry Warden of Readers - Wells