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, readers’ 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.

The term ‘reader’ is often questioned. 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 consists of a three-year course of study with Lincoln School of Theology. This may be preceded by a foundation year, exploring vocations year or by joining the course as a confirmed reader candidate. If you sense a vocation to reader ministry and which is also discerned by others as you go through the selection process you will study to at least Certificate Plus Level of the Common Awards programme, which is validated by Durham University. You will explore topics relating to the Bible, Christian doctrine, worship, spirituality, discipleship, mission, pastoral care and ethics, among others.

The Lincoln Reader website and the national website will give you further information about reader ministry. If you would like to talk about whether this might be the way forward for you, please contact Sally Buck, Warden of Readers.