Readers are theologically trained lay people who give their time to the Church voluntarily. Their ministry is said to be one of teaching and preaching in a pastoral context. Subject to further training Readers can lead funerals if they wish.
Readers regularly assist with services by leading worship, preaching and helping with Communion. They train part time for three years. The training is rigorous and demanding and similar to that undertaken by ordinands.
At St Helen's we have three licensed Readers in the Parish - Andrew Mallin-Jones, David Drinkwater and Simon Gowler.
In traditional churches where the clergy robe a Reader can be identified by a distinctive blue scarf, which they receive upon completion of training at a service in the cathedral.