Readers in the Church of England are lay people called by God, trained, and licensed by their Bishop. They lead worship, preach and teach about Jesus and the Christian faith, and encourage effective pastoral care and evangelistic ministry.


In the Wakefield and Huddersfield Episcopal Areas, there are around 150 licensed Readers, plus nearly 50 emeritus Readers. They play a vital role, taking part in and leading thousands of services each year.

Emeritus Readers 2013

Readers’ roles vary depending on the individual and on their church circumstances, but would typically include some liturgical role within services (leading services, reading, giving sermons, helping administer communion) and often work far beyond church walls.

A Reader may help with children’s work, visit the elderly and the sick, be involved with schools work, take funerals, help with baptism preparation, and in many other ways help to spread the Gospel throughout our diocese.

Readers come from every walk of life and men and women are represented more or less in equal numbers. Most often, they serve within the ministry team of a parish, but can also operate at a Deanery or Archdeaconry level or in specialized ‘sector minister’ areas, such as hospital or prison Chaplaincies. They bring to the ministry the insights of one who is actively involved as a Christian in the life of the world.

Equipped by their training, Readers often play a key role in running house groups and Bible study groups. As a person with theological and liturgical training a Reader is able to be a resource to individuals both in the church and the world outside.

In church, Readers can be distinguished from their ordained colleagues by the distinctive blue scarf which licensed Readers wear. ‘Readers’ were formally known as ‘Lay Readers’.

Reader Bulletin Boards                      

Readers: Bulletin Board - January 2015

Readers: Bulletin Board - September 2014


Ven Anne Dawtry

If you would like to know more about the work of a Reader, or explore your own possible calling, please contact the Warden of Readers, Ven Anne Dawtry, Archdeacon of Halifax – 01484  714553 – or speak to your incumbent (Vicar, Rector or priest).

John Lawson

For information on Reader training, contact the Director of Training, Canon John Lawson – 01924 380182.


Part time Training Officer (Reader Formation), Lesley Anne Mattacks - 01924 283533


Jeff Heaton, Readers Secretary - 01422 379144




For more background information see the national Readers’ website. This site enables a download of the latest Reader magazine.


Continuing Ministerial Training for Readers
This programme covers a range of topics designed to assist Readers in their continuing ministry. Those undertaking or preparing for other Christian ministries are often welcome to join with Readers in these sessions.
Contact: Lesley Anne Mattacks - 01484 531532.

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