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Readers Licensing

What is the role of a Reader?

  • Readers are lay people who have been trained for ministry and licensed by the bishop to preach and teach, to lead worship, and to assist in the pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work of the Church in the parish or area where they are licensed.
  • Readers work in a variety of contexts: parishes, schools, prisons, hospitals, hospices, with children and young people, the elderly, housebound and bereaved, and with those preparing for baptism, confirmation and marriage.
  • Readers have a key role in teaching and preaching as well as helping to lead worship.
  • Readers have a kind of bridge ministry: a bridge between day-to-day life and the world of the church, a bridge which witnesses the unchanging love of God in a changing world.
  • Readers come from a variety of backgrounds and many have paid employment.
  • Readers are authorised, licensed by the bishop and recognised nationally, but are not ordained clergy.

Training before licensing lasts for one year and gives practical skills in ministry as well as some understanding of God-talk/theology. Readers are sometimes described as lay theologians.

To explore Reader ministry further and learn about the training involved, please contact Nick Smeeton, Director of Vocations, at

Praying for our Readers

If you would like to pray for those being licensed as Readers this Summer, you can find a prayer card and list of names here.

Support for Readers

Lay Readers have their own dedicated National Website. To learn more about who Lay Readers are and their important role they play in the life of our churches, click here: Home - Transforming Ministry Magazine

The archdeaconry chaplains would normally be the first point of contact for Readers seeking pastoral support or advice. This does not preclude direct contact with the Warden or Sub-Warden should a Reader have a particular reason for doing so.

Bolton Archdeaconry 

Lay Chaplain – Vacant 

Clergy Chaplain - Vacant

Manchester Archdeaconry 

Miss Avril Scott 0161 225 5243 

Clergy Chaplain - Vacant

Rochdale Archdeaconry 

Mr David White 07932 871902

The Revd Ian Bullock 01706 375322

Salford Archdeaconry

Mrs Sheila Radford 0161 702 8128

Revd Tracy Marshall 07837 624872

Warden of Readers

Rt Revd Matthew Porter 0161 790 8289

Subwarden of Readers

Dr Mike Stuckey Michael 0161 357 0155

Officer for Emeritus Readers

Mr Graham Cooper 0161 872 4140

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