Be a Reader
Grow your own Reader
Next time you’re in church for a service or for anything else, take a good look at who else is there.
If there’s a Reader present give them a pat on the back and a prayer for all the work they do – seen and unseen – for the Kingdom where you are.
But maybe you should be looking around for your church’s next Reader, and as you look don’t forget to glance in the mirror too; just in case.
St Paul told the Thessalonians to “encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”* If Reader ministry is the way to go for someone you know, maybe your calling is to encourage and build them up in following that path.
Readers are trained and licensed lay ministers who help and support churches throughout the Church of England; faithful church members whose ministry is recognised and encouraged by the church.
You can see them helping to lead worship and teaching, but often you don’t see them because they’re busy with a host of tasks and roles behind the scenes or with their sleeves rolled up.
Readers run home or Lent groups, lead Godly Play and Messy Church, take funerals and minister to the bereaved, take baptism preparation sessions, lead worship for parents and toddlers, serve as voluntary chaplains in hospitals, shops and elsewhere – and too many other jobs to list.
For some the idea starts with a nagging idea or a blinding flash during or after prayer, and for others it’s a tap on the shoulder from someone nearby. But all those who follow the path to Reader ministry need the prayer, support and encouragement of their own church family.
If someone’s name springs to mind – and it might be your own – see if you can get a conversation going between that person and your Vicar. That might be the first step along a road of discovery that will take them through theological and practical training and placements to a whole new place!
- If you’d like the Newcastle Diocese Readers’ Flying Squad to visit your church and tell you more about lay ministry and readers in particular, just ask Sue Hart (see below)
- If you want to know more about the selection and training of Readers or need an application form contact Canon Sue Hart, Reader Recruitment and Selection Coordinator.
Telephone: 0191 252 3941
*1 Thess 5:11