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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 that 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 the workplace or community on the other.


What is HDRA and who is a member of it?

HDRA stands for Hereford Diocesan Readers' Association. It is the formal structure and leadership for Readers in our diocese.  The Association is led by a committee, 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 Elizabeth Wild

The full list of HDRA Committee members is below:

Committee members
What is Transforming Local Lay Ministry all about?

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. This is the official website for Reader Ministry in the Church of England

A number of useful documents may also help you to read and understand more about the work and ministry life of Readers in the Church of England:

Who are the Sub Wardens of Lay Ministry?

The Sub Wardens of Lay Ministry are available to support you in local reader ministry and live within your deanery area. The individuals listed below act as delegated deanery leads  for readers.  They are on hand to support you in matters relating to ministry including appointments, administration and/or any other concerns you have about reader ministry and practice.

Please get in touch directly:

Deanery Sub Warden of Lay Ministry




Mr Chris Evans


Mr Malcolm Robertson
01432 351134

Kington & Weobley




Mr Culain Morris

Ross & Archenfield

Canon Freda Davies


Revd Garry Ward
01746 710304

Clun Forest

Canon Julia Francis


Canon Julia Francis
Telford Severn Gorge
Revd Garry Ward
01746 710304
Who can I speak to about Reader ministry?

If you wish to talk to someone about becoming a Reader, please contact the Warden of Readers Revd Dr Elizabeth Wild

Where can I find information to support me in my Reader ministry?

We have created a number of documents to support you in your role as a Reader these include a prayer diary which is produced annually and various documents such as travel expenses. If you require documents or support with another matter please contact the Warden of Readers Revd Dr Elizabeth Wild

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