What is a Reader?
Readers are lay people in the Church of England from all walks of life, theologically trained and licensed by the Church. In church, Reader ministry often involves preaching, teaching small groups and leading worship. As theologically trained lay people, a Reader’s ministry is also lived out in their day-to-day life of work, family and community involvement. They are episcopally licensed and governed by canon.
Readers do not simply read lessons in church, but are called to a ministry of word which involves a vocation to read the Bible, to read theology, to read the signs of the times and to relate, as lay theologians, one to the other.
Reader training in the Diocese of Lincoln usually consists of a 3 year course of study with St Hild Lincoln to 180 credit certificate level of the Common Awards programme (validated by Durham University) and participation in the reader ministerial pathway. You will explore topics relating to the Bible, Christian doctrine, worship, spirituality, discipleship, mission, pastoral care and ethics, among others.
What is an Authorised Lay Minister?
Our authorised lay ministers assist in leading worship and are involved in pastoral visiting and evangelism and mission.
The Diocese of Lincoln has a distinguished history in pioneering and encouraging lay ministry, and is blessed with a large number of authorised lay ministers who serve the church faithfully across greater Lincolnshire.
Originally called ‘local ministers’, they are called and trained to serve the benefice that sponsored them in order to meet local needs. Authorised lay ministers work collaboratively as part of a ministry team in their benefice under the direction of their incumbent. Along with clergy and Readers they are also part of the public ministry of the local church.
Lay ministers in the diocese are authorised for three areas of ministry:
- assisting in leading worship
- pastoral visiting
- evangelism and mission.
Within these three areas there is much variety in both the scope and type of ministry they are involved in. Some lead services by themselves or as part of a team, while others support specific groups of people, such as the elderly or sick, with pastoral visits.
Whatever lay ministers are called to, all are part of the Church’s mission to serve the world and promote the life of faith in everyday life.
Our vision, through time to change together, is for every church to be served and equipped by ordained and lay ministers, working together safely to make known the good news of Jesus through their actions and words.