Reader Ministry

Reader Ministry

Have you ever felt called by God to serve in his church but did not think that it was to the ordained ministry? Have you wondered about Reader Ministry but weren't quite sure what that involved?

Readers are lay people in the Church of England, from all walks of life, who are called by God, theologically trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work.

The office of Reader is the only lay ministry in the Church of England which is voluntary, nationally accredited, Episcopally licensed and governed by canon. There are now over 10,000 Readers, with men and women represented almost equally.

Although nationally authorised, the scope of ministry and roles undertaken by Readers differs across the dioceses. In addition, each diocese currently provides its own programme of initial and continued training, which are moderated nationally to ensure consistency in preparing Readers for their office, supporting them and helping to keep them up to date.

Want to be a Reader? 

Here’s how – (in this order)

  • Speak to one of the clergy ( you will need approval from the PCC)
  • Talk to the Diocesan Vocation Advisers
  • Approach the Warden of Readers for an Application form
  • Go to selection (if selected)
  • Training will start


Training usually takes 3 years, but can be shorter, depending on prior knowledge and experience.

There are four aspects of training:

  • Six modules of the Foundation Degree in Theology and Ministry from York St John University – Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Faith in History, Christian Ethics, Christian Worship and Mission and Ministry
  • Work on skills and competencies for Readers
  • Assessed sermons ( six over the years of training)
  • Parish placement.


Watch the following video by clicking on the image to find out more about Reader Ministry from those who do it.





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