Increase in 2012 Reader Applications

After two successful taster evenings, 20 people have applied to train as Readers - nearly double the number of last year.

After two successful taster evenings, 20 people have applied to train as Readers in the Diocese of Liverpool. This is nearly double the number who applied for the course last year.

Jean Todd, Warden of Readers said, “I think there are a number of reasons why we have had such a good response for the 2012 course. Firstly, the Lifecall event last September was an effective way of promoting Reader ministry and we had a good number of people interested in finding out more.

“Secondly, our Taster Evenings were very well advertised through the bulletin and mailings along with other promotional material. We had a record number of people attend these evenings. Thirdly, the news has now spread that the training course has changed – one of the main changes is that it is now two years instead of three, so this may have encouraged those who felt unable to manage a longer course.”

The new-look two year course has a clearer focus on the practical skills of preaching and worship-leading, on growing in ministry and the place of the Bible in Reader Ministry. Year 1 looks at worship-leading and preaching, the Old Testament, practical skills for ministry and sustaining your spiritual life in Christian ministry. Year 2 looks at the New Testament, mission and outreach, what Christians believe and what it means to be a Christian in the Anglican tradition.

Rev Simon Chesters, Director of Studies, added, “I’m delighted that this new start for Reader training has had such a positive reaction. We have really tried to listen to feedback and redesign the course to make it more accessible and better suited to preparing people for active Reader ministry. For example, the very first modules on the new course involve preaching and worship-leading and skills for ministry (they came rather later on in the old course).

“There are three key themes - mission, making disciples, and working with young people. It is about real-life ministry in a church context. Trainees will regularly preach, be involved in leading worship and support other church and community activities, and receive helpful feedback on their activities. The aim is that they will know more about the bible and Christian faith, about themselves and their prayer life and so have the knowledge and skills to help others learn more about their faith.”

Jean added, “The increase in applications is very encouraging. Readers are not only a great asset in our churches but they have a vital role to play in mission, as they take the gospel to the communities in which they live and work.”