Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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Frequently asked questions

about Reader ministry in the Diocese of Chichester

Readers at Chichester Cathedral

I believe that I may have a vocation to Reader ministry. What should I do?

Talk to your incumbent. When you both feel that it is right to proceed, ask your incumbent to contact the Vocations Officer Revd Dr Paul Redparth

What does the training involve?

We've got a special page on this: click or tap here to find it.

What is the difference between Admission and Licensing?

At a service, normally in the cathedral in the autumn, you will be admitted to the Office of Reader. This is an Office in the Church of England and is recognised throughout all the dioceses. However, to exercise that ministry you will need the Bishop's Licence to minister in a particular parish or area working with the incumbent. Licences are renewed every five years or if the circumstances of your ministry change.

When do I apply for PTO (permission to officiate)?

When you reach the age of seventy your licence will cease but you may apply for Permission to Officiate. This is in line with licences for the clergy.

What safeguarding requirements must I fulfil?

Checks will be made when you begin training. When you are admitted and licensed it will depend on the form that your ministry takes. You should discuss this with your incumbent and parish safeguarding representative. If you are not sure then please consult the safeguarding department at Diocesan Church House who will advise you (contact details here). Whether you need a check or not you must attend regular safeguarding training sessions. Your parish safeguarding representative should have details. This is a requirement if you are to hold the Bishop's Licence or PTO.

What can I do as a Reader?

A Reader in the Diocese of Chichester is usually granted permission by the Bishop to preach and lead worship in a particular church. But roles vary - you will need to agree a Ministry Specification with your incumbent.

What happens if I am a licensed Reader and move into the diocese?

Normally you would spend at least six months worshipping in a parish before your incumbent approaches your Archdeaconry Secretary for Readers (contact details here) ask for the appropriate forms so that you may apply to be licensed in this diocese subject to the approval of the Bishop. The Diocesan Warden will confirm with your previous diocese that you are "safe to receive".

I have taken a funeral, and the family of the deceased have given me a cheque for the fees. Can I keep it?

Funeral fees are "assigned fees" and, after deduction of any out of pocket expenses incurred (and not reimbursed by the funeral director), are to be passed to the incumbent or otherwise at their direction, to be paid to the Diocese, as with all other assigned fees.

I want to undertake a training course which I feel would help my ministry in the Parish. Is there any financial help available for this?

The Readers Committee makes grants for Continuing Ministry Education (CME). Courses can be from either church or secular sources and the application must be endorsed by your Incumbent to confirm that the course is relevant to your particular Parish Ministry. Applications are assessed by the Readers Grant Assessment Panel (GAP), (currently the Chairman, the Treasurer, the Diocesan Warden and the Programme Co-Ordinator for Reader Training). The application form can be downloaded from the resources page (click or tap here to go there now).

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