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 Neil Patterson

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 Readers?

The sub-warden of readers 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
Abbeydore Vacant
Bromyard Vacant
Hereford
 
Mr Malcolm Robertson
01432 351134
Kington & Weobley Mrs Anne Ingham
Ledbury
 
Mrs Linde Melhuish
01531 631403
Leominster Vacant
Ross & Archenfield
 
Revd Chris Blanchard
01989 762368
Bridgnorth
 
Revd Garry Ward
01746 710304
Clun Forest
 
Mr Jonathan Kemp
01547 530398
Condover
 
Revd Nancy Cleaton
01694 723387
Ludlow
 
Revd John Beesley
01584 841488
Pontesbury
 
Revd Nancy Cleaton
01694 723387
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 Neil Patterson

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, Annual review forms and working agreement template. If you require support with another matter please contact the Warden of Readers Revd Neil Patterson

  • Reader Prayer Diary
  • Payment of fees for voluntary ministers (Please refer to the section on Guidance for Voluntary Ministries)
  • Working Agreement template
  • Reader ministry nomination form
  • Vacancies & accredited ministers
  • A grievance procedure for licensed ministers
  • Form to request a licence/PTO for a Reader transferring from another benefice
  • Annual Review & Report Form
  • Travel expenses claim form
  • Readers Licensing service
  • Bishop's Regulations for Reader Ministry
  • Supporting a Reader - a guide for PCCs
  • HDRA Constitution