Readers / Licensed Lay Ministers


Quinquennial Licensing Service 2013                                                           Mike Angelo Photography

What is a Reader?

Readers are lay people, selected for training by their local diocese with the same rigour as ordinands, in response to their sense of calling to a preaching and teaching ministry.  They have a rigorous theological training equivalent to clergy and mostly follow a degree course.  This generally lasts three years with some extras added on afterwards, though some are licensed after two years with more training following.  

They have a ministry within their local team and generally stay where they live, not being deployed as a priest might be in the CofE or RC church.  However their licence is recognised nationally, and if they have a move due to family or work circumstances, then they can be licensed in their new parish. 

Today's church is more and more diverse and increasingly Readers are finding a ministry in the work place, the community and in chaplaincy, (schools, prisons, hospitals, the armed forces).   Their preaching and teaching experience is always used "in a pastoral context", and many are out and about in their communtties, rather than in the more formal role of being robed and leading worship or preaching on a Sunday.  

Is God calling you?

If you long to serve God more fully, this role could be the way forward for you.  To become a Reader you must be: a baptised, confirmed and regular communicant member of the Church of England; keen to communicate your Christian faith; willing to train for this ministry.

What next?

Firstly, discuss your vocation with your Vicar/Minister to explore your calling, discuss your ideas and feelings with your family, friends, other members of your church fellowship, and if possible with a Reader.  You will need the support and agreement of your Vicar and your PCC to proceed.  For further information, speak to Mrs Julie Batchelor, Assistant Warden of Readers.

Warden of Readers

Prof Annie Garden - Warden of Readers  Shuna, Back Lane, Arnside, Carnforth LA5 0BS.  Tel: 01524 762676 Email:

The Warden of Readers is responsible for the selection and training of readers; for the encouragement of readers in their pastoral and liturgical ministries; and for their continuing education and training.






Mrs Julie Batchelor - Assistant Warden of Readers  St Mary's Vicarage, Promenade, Walney Island, Cumbria LA16 3QU Tel: 01229 227976  Email:







Mr Geoff HineCME Officer Chapel Howe, Sebergham, Carlisle CA5 7DY. Tel: 016974 76308 Email:


 Mrs Lyn Radcliffe - Secretary  The Stables, 9 Beechwood Close, Maryport CA15 7BZ.  Tel: 01900 814181  Email:



Upcoming Events 2017


25 November 2017 Readers AGM and lunch at Bishop's House, Keswick. 


Please let Lyn Radcliffe know if you will be attending:







Here is a selection of photographs from the past few years


Readers Licensing Service 2017


Parcevall Hall Retreat 2017


Licensing Service 2015

Licensing Service at Sedbergh 2015

Readers Licensing 2014

Licensing Service 2014

 New Readers 2013

Readers Licensed in 2013 (by Mike Angelo Photography

Readers Licensing Service, Cartmel Priory  October 2012












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