If you feel you may be called by God to Reader ministry, you should first discuss this with your incumbent whose support you will need to be considered as a candidate. The discernment process for Reader ministry opens each October and consists of two stages:
Stage One – Parish Discernment
If you wish to explore a possible call to Reader ministry you should first contact the Officer for Lay Vocation and Ministry, Jayne Prestwood – Jayne.Prestwood@Chichester.Anglican.Org who will send you a ministry enquiry form to complete and return to her. Once this information has been received you will be invited to meet with your local Bishop for an initial discernment interview. This is to ensure that the bishop is aware of all possible candidates in their area for Reader ministry and is supportive of them moving into discernment and confident that the parish is one where a Reader’s ministry is both needed and can be well developed.
Following your meeting with the bishop, you will be required to preach an assessed sermon in your parish, write a reflection on a parish project and secure the nomination of the PCC. Full details of these tasks will be given to you by the Officer for Lay Vocation and Ministry.
Stage 2 – Diocesan Discernment
This consists of three individual interviews with diocesan selectors who will explore your sense of calling against different nationally agreed qualities. Once all 3 interviews have taken place the diocesan selectors meet with the Officer to agree a recommendation and send a report to your local bishop who makes the final decision to put your forward as a candidate for training.
Please note that all candidates for Reader ministry need to be no older than 69 at the start of training and the discernment process must be completed by July 1st each year.
Training for Reader ministry takes place at St Augustine’s College of Theology. Full details of the 2 year training course can be found here.