Canterbury Diocese welcomes new Readers


On 26 September at Canterbury Cathedral, the Diocese of Canterbury welcomed five new Readers and celebrated the ministry of all Readers in a special service. 

Addressing the Cathedral's congregation, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, said: "Being a Reader is not about being dressed in beautiful robes. Being a Reader is about being engaged in the life of the mission of the Church. You are engaged in mission, because what we are doing is enabling the wider community to experience something of the glory of God.  What you are doing is offering worship in the life of the community and we should never think any less because it is not the Eucharist. We should never apologise. You ministry is unique, it is different. So do your ministry and do it well."

Reflecting on the significance of the day, Lay Ministries Adviser & Pastoral Secretary Nigel Collins said, "Our service last year had to take place online, so it was wonderful to be able to hold this joyful and uplifting celebration of lay ministry as part of the worshipping life of our Cathedral.  It was indeed an inspiring and  memorable occasion as we recognised the valuable and unique contribution of Readers as ministers of the Word in the life of our diocese."

During the service, Tracy Williams was admitted and licensed as a new Reader and Becky Clifford, Lisa Nissen, Alan Gostelow and Deborah Waller were also licensed as readers in Canterbury Diocese, having transferred from elsewhere. Additionally, Bishop Rose affirmed the ministry of a cohort of Readers who were admitted online last year: 

Margaret Bowers
Ann Harrison
Isobel Legg
Sharon Paine
Peter Roberts
Graham Snellin
Anne Loat

Angie Daniel, Bob Kinnear, Norman Fowler and Frances Ventham were retiring and therefore granted the status of Reader Emeritus. 

About Reader ministry

Readers (also known as Licensed Lay Ministers - LLMs - in some dioceses) play an important role in the public ministry of the Church by leading worship, teaching and preaching, as well as in a wide range of missional and pastoral contexts. As theologically trained lay people they offer a ministry within the Church and to the wider community; and are well placed to encourage people in their everyday faith.

The ministry of individual Readers varies according to their gifting and mission context. Whilst most Readers minister collaboratively as part of a team of lay and ordained ministers some work very much on the margins of society sharing God’s love and message of hope to those who may not yet know it. Find out more about Reader ministry.