Reader Ministry in the Church of England
Continuing our look at some of the main groups of people in the Church, this month we are looking at Reader Ministry.
This year we celebrate 150 years of this voluntary ministry, but what is a Reader/Licensed Lay Minister? They have been described as ‘the Bridge between the Church and the World’. There are now over 10,000 Readers nationally.
Readers are defined as men and women, from a wide diversity of backgrounds and occupations, who recognise a call to serve God and his people through the Church of England. They are theologically trained and work in a variety of roles and situations across the Church, being authorised by the Bishop to lead worship, preach and teach. To this they bring their own unique and invaluable experiences, drawing on them in the light of biblical understanding to enrich their ministry. Some may lead Morning and Evening services and Funerals and assist at other services.
Their presence, witness and listening in their places of work, at home, among their neighbours and in their local communities all provide vital links between the Church and the world. As a result Readers exercise a crucial ministry in witnessing to the unchanging love of God in a changing world. In this Diocese we sum it up by stating that a Reader is: ‘A trained lay theologian who holds a Bishop’s licence to lead worship and preach in the pastoral context of the Church and who is a messenger of the Word of God to the world.’
In our Benefice we are very fortunate to have Susan Green as a Lay Reader, and many of you will know just how much she does within the Benefice.
If you read this and think you might be interested in exploring this ministry yourself, please do contact myself or Susan Green to find out more.