Readers (Licensed Lay Ministers)

Readers are licensed lay ministers in the Church of England. There are nearly 10,000 across the country.

They are community theologians who teach, preach and enable everyday faith.

Looking for a document?Search them all by keyword…

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”


Reader Ministry

Readers are men and women from a variety of backgrounds and occupations who have heard God’s call.

They are people who by their presence and words provoke the conversation, trigger and enable God talk in the midst of life, the midst of the wider community where they live, work and minister.

The office of Reader is the only lay ministry in the Church of England that is voluntary, nationally accredited, episcopally licensed and governed by Canon Law.

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.


Readers – In the midst of Life

Readers are involved with:

  • Preaching and teaching;
  • Being a caring presence throughout people’s lives:
  • Children and families;
  • Housebound, elderly, bereaved;
  • Chaplaincy within a work place;
  • Prayer and spiritual direction;
  • Helping people to follow Jesus.

Download the Reader Ministry leaflet


Ensuring that children and young people as well as adults are kept safe whilst in our care in an integral part of our diocese life.