God has given a variety of gifts to his people, for works of service and ministry. He may have given you the gifts for ministry as a Parish Reader or Diocesan Lay Reader. Perhaps you’ve felt God prompting you towards a new scope of service in his Church. Could it be that God is calling you to Reader Ministry?
Parish Readers serve by leading God’s people in worship: by leading the service, or reading the Bible readings, or leading the prayers - in their own parish. Diocesan Readers lead God’s people in worship in the same way as Parish Readers, and are also authorised to preach - across the diocese by invitation.
Archbishop John writes: ‘The Office of Reader is one of the most ancient in the Christian Church and was revived in the Church of Ireland in the early twentieth century. As the name implies, Diocesan Readers are called to exercise a ministry of the Word in reading the Liturgy and in expounding the Scriptures. It is a high calling and is carried out (as is all Christian ministry) in the service of others, for the spiritual well-being of the People of God, throughout the Diocese.
The Church of Ireland is very careful in who it selects, trains and authorises to fulfil the office of Diocesan Reader, as we are aware of the importance of the work that is carried out by Readers for the building up of the Church. I would encourage those who may feel that they have such a vocation from God to explore it further with their rector.’
Applications are currently open for our next training courses for both Parish Readers and Diocesan Readers: Parish Reader applications will close on Tuesday 31st May for selection interviews and an introductory meeting in June. Diocesan Reader applications will close on Friday 2nd September for selection interviews in September, with the course starting in January 2023 in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in January 2023.
If you would like to explore the possibility of ministry as a Parish Reader or Diocesan Reader, or for more information, you can contact the Warden of Readers, the Rev’d Gary McMurray (028 3887 0798 or email@example.com) or the Assistant Warden of Readers, the Rev’d Canon Michael Kennedy (028 3752 3630 or firstname.lastname@example.org). We encourage you to speak to your Rector in the early stages of discernment.