The ministry of Lay Readers is performed in the conduct of public worship, instruction in the Christian faith, the provision of pastoral care within their community, and other duties requested of them. Lay Readers make a specific commitment to their Bishop, parish priest, and church wardens to use their skills and their developing gifts in ministry to the glory of God, for the benefit of the people within and beyond their own congregations. Authority is given by the Bishop in the form of a licence following a probationary period of training.
When a person’s faith journey brings her or him onto “holy ground,” the need to listen respectfully is of utmost importance. Seeker and guide need to attend to what the Holy Spirit is doing. The graces offered by the Spirit are always gifts, so they can’t be “managed,” but the ground for spiritual fruitfulness can be prepared. The skill of attending can be developed through discipline and guided practice, and the ways of understanding these graces can be studied as part of a tradition nearly two millennia old. For this reason, our diocese recognizes Spiritual Direction as a ministry to be offered only by accredited individuals.