Reader Ministry

The office of Reader is one of the oldest in the Church. The growth in Reader ministry has been one of the great success stories in the Church of England and there are now over 10,000 Readers, of whom there are around 80 active in Hereford Diocese. It is the only lay ministry which is voluntary, nationally accredited, episcopally licensed and governed by Canon.

In the Church, Readers can be distinguished from their ordained colleagues by the distinctive blue Readers’ scarf. Readers exercise what is sometimes called a teaching and preaching ministry within a pastoral context. They lead worship, teach and preach, and are engaged in a great variety of other roles according to their context. Some examples include pastoral work, leading Bible study groups, baptism, confirmation and marriage preparation, school assemblies, and taking funerals. 

They are sometimes described as 'lay theologians': their close contact with everyday situations helping them to interpret the Gospel, and to proclaim Christ's teaching both in the Church and well beyond it. Many are involved in planting new congregations and in building bridges between Church on the one hand and workplace or community on the other.


Readers Committee

Hereford Diocesan Readers' Association(HDRA)meets quarterly; Readers' events are listed in the main events pages and are advertised in the Diocesan weekly eNews. The committee is composed of fourteen members and is presided by  The Bishop of Hereford, Rt Revd Richard Jackson supported by the Warden, this is presently held by Revd Dr John Daniels

Transforming Local Lay Ministry

The Church of England is committed to transforming local lay ministry. You can find out more about what lay ministry involves and the opportunities to explore it from the transforming ministry website