Reader Ministry

What is Reader Ministry?

reader logoReaders are lay people licensed to a ministry recognised across the whole Church of England. Nationally, their ministry is characterised by three strands: preaching and teaching, enabling mission and exercising leadership. They are theologically trained lay people who provide a skilled resource for the church.  

Reader Ministry as a whole in this Diocese is under the care of the Warden of Readers, who works with a team of people to support Reader ministry. Readers, like clergy, are expected to become life-long learners, continuing to study after licensing. 

If you would like to chat to someone informally about vocation please complete the Vocational Conversation - Initial Enquiry Form and then send it to who will then arrange the initial contact with a Vocations Adviser.

For more specific information on the Reader Training course you can contact:

Revd Canon Liz Shercliff, Director of Studies for Readers Contact details: tel: 07515 633856

Email: or

Revd Canon Vivien Gisby, Warden of Readers, tel: 01928 573798  Email: Vivien Gisby

Reader Training in the Diocese of Chester

Reader Handbook

Reader Handbook Revised 11 October 2021 (See this for information on becoming a Reader, post-licensing support, the transfer process, becoming Emeritus and much more.)

Working Agreements for Licensed Readers: refer to Section 7 of the Reader Handbook


Reader Training in the Diocese of Chester

Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) In-Service Training Grants

Working Agreement Reader sample

Reader Transfers

Please see the Reader Handbook for more details. Please note that the Reader Transfer Form must be returned by the end of July in the year the transfer is taking place. If you have any queries please contact either the Warden of Readers or Church House.

Reader Transfer Form

Readers Emeritus

Implications for the Reader on becoming Emeritus:

  1. Need to decide whether or not to apply for Permission to Officiate (PTO);
  2. If so, obtain agreement of incumbent and PCC;
  3. Complete application form and return to the Warden of Readers;
  4. Make a note to attend the next annual Reader licensing service to receive PTO from the bishop;
  5. Discuss ongoing role and working agreement with incumbent.  It is good practice, but not required, to continue to have a Written Working Agreement;
  6. On becoming Reader Emeritus, there need be no change in working arrangements with the parish, but the Reader may wish to change or reduce the workload with time;
  7. Bear in mind no further editions of The Reader magazine will be delivered, nor will any CMD grant be available from the diocese.  Check with the PCC for arrangements for training and book grants;
  8. Let the Deanery Sub-Warden know informally of your intentions.

Implications for the incumbent when a Reader becomes Emeritus:

  1. Need to decide whether it is still appropriate for the Reader to officiate, if s/he decides to apply for PTO;
  2. Need to obtain PCC minute approval;
  3. Make a note to attend the next annual Reader licensing service to witness Reader receiving PTO from bishop;
  4. Initiate the conversation about Reader's continuing role and ministry within the parish.  Bear in mind that the Reader may wish to change or reduce their workload with time; and may require guidance and support in this;
  5. Clarify with PCC what its policy is on CMD and book grants for Readers Emeritus;
  6. Inform the Deanery Sub-Warden as a courtesy, and note that PTO will need to renewed by the DWS at three-yearly interviews.


Reader Emeritus Form

Sub-wardens and Representative Readers

Who’s Who

If you have any enquiries about Reader Ministry, the people below would be happy to help.

Warden of Readers is Revd Canon Vivien Gisby Contact details: Church House, 5500 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Warrington WA4 4GE tel: 01928 573798  Email: Vivien Gisby

Peter Bacon is the PA to the Warden of Readers and is based at Church House. Tel: 01928 718834 ext 237. Email:

Reader Training in the Diocese of Chester
Open Reader Training in the Diocese of Chester

Deanery Sub-Wardens and Representative Readers
Open Deanery Sub-Wardens and Representative Readers