What Readers do

There are currently over 160 licensed Readers living, serving and working in the Newcastle Diocese as well as about 24 in training. These Readers work collaboratively with clergy and others in churches and communities across the Diocese. Some live and work in small rural communities, and worship in churches among small but committed congregations. Others serve and worship in busy city centre churches, with diverse, both regular and transient, congregations. Our cathedral of St Nicholas, in the middle of Newcastle, also has three Readers.

Depending upon their own particular calling, gifts and interests, Readers undertake a wide range of activities. Listed below are some of the activities Readers in the Diocese have undertaken in recent years:

Helping others to develop their faith and discipleship:

  • Baptism preparation for families
  • Wedding preparation
  • Preparing children and adults for confirmation
  • Leading ‘Faith & Life’ courses
  • Leading Bible groups in a local prison
  • Leading learning, through Lent, Advent and regular study groups
  • Working with children and young people in schools, Sunday School, Holiday Clubs, Easter workshops, etc.
  • Leading discipleship courses
  • Helping people to pray, through:
    • Men’s prayers cells,
    • Creative prayer groups,
    • Healing prayer groups,

Pastoral Work:

  • Sheltered housing and care homes
  • Hospital visiting and chaplaincy
  • Supporting the housebound and elderly
  • ‘Drop in’ centres for young people
  • Supporting and ministering to colleagues in the workplace
  • Diocesan Healing Team
  • Bereavement support
  • Young Offenders Institutions;
  • Air and Sea Cadets
  • Metro Centre and supermarkets.
  • Taking Holy Communion to the sick and housebound.

Leading Worship – in churches, schools, hospitals, residential care homes and nursing homes …

Preaching Sermons – More than 1500 sermons are preached by Readers in the Newcastle Diocese each year.

Taking funerals –  Many of our Readers have been trained and licensed to conduct Church of England funeral services.

Readers are encouraged to discern and develop their own particular gifts and skills, and to agree with their Incumbent (Vicar) / Priest-in-Charge how they can best use their gifts to serve God and others in the community where they live and work, and/or in the church and parish where they worship. Each Reader will have their own distinctive ministry, shaped by their own gifts and interests and by the needs of the community in which they serve.