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Last updated 20th April 2020

Reader ministry

Readers assist in the church's teaching and preaching ministry under the direction of their Rector or Vicar. 


Readers also:

  • Preach sermons
  • Conduct services
  • Read the bible in services
  • Lead prayers/intercessions
  • Exercise a teaching ministry
  • Administer Communion
  • Take communion to the sick
  • Conduct funerals (with permission)
  • Develop special ministries

Part of the Reader's role is also:

'to encourage the ministries of God's people, as the Spirit distributes gifts among us all ... (and) to help the whole Church to participate in God's mission to the world' (from the Reader licensing service).

Readers are licensed to one church although they can be asked to help at other churches as the need arises. Reader ministry is a voluntary offering of service to God through his church.

Readers are not paid but their travelling expenses are refunded.

The House of Bishops rules say you need to be aged be over 20 when your training starts, and candidates for Reader ministry in Blackburn Diocese are normally under 63.

For national Reader information, please see the Anglican Readers' website.


How are Readers chosen?

The Readers Selection Day for 2018 is Saturday 12 May

Anyone thinking of training as a Reader will be a confirmed member of the Church of England (or willing to be confirmed) and a regular worshipper. You will also need the support of your Parochial Church Council. It helps to have your family's support as well!

There will be an initial meeting with a suffragan Bishop, followed by some meetings with a member of the vocations team, who work with those exploring callings to lay as well as ordained ministry.

If Reader ministry seems to be right for you, you will then have a meeting with the Warden of Readers or a Deanery Chaplain, and attend a selection conference. The conference panel makes recommendations to the Bishop who approves all candidates for training.

If you are interested in taking your calling to ordained or licensed ministry further, please would you (and your vicar) also read the 'discernment process' guide  and complete the Candidate's form . Your vicar should also complete the incumbent's referral form.

Not sure if this is for you...but still looking...what about becoming looking at the Informal lay ministry page on this website. 

For more information about Reader ministry and whether it is right for you, please contact The Warden of Lay Ministry, Ruth Haldane -