Deanery Reader Chaplains

Deanery Chaplains

The plan is for the Deanery Chaplains to be commissioned in October at the annual Reader Service but before then each of the prospective chaplains will have to be recruited / appointed.

Some of the Deanery Reader Stewards have taken up the important work of chaplain with great enthusiasm since the title of Deanery Reader steward was made redundant and I have been hugely grateful for their support and commitment.

The more I speak to Readers, the more I am convinced of the importance of chaplaincy and for more local chaplains.  “Why?” you may ask……

When you look at he diocesan website there is an encouraging page on Clergy Wellbeing Clergy Wellbeing Archives – Truro Diocese : Truro Diocese  which lists a variety of resources for Clergy and some resources for Diocesan staff.  In speaking to Readers about their clergy, however, there is a difference between providing a service and people actually using it; or at least using it before the problem gets really serious.


Readers are not mentioned.

Because we are such a disparate bunch in the Reader community it is hard to describe what the life and duties of a typical reader might be, there is no such thing as a typical Reader! Some Readers are quite content taking evensong and preaching once a month, others are church wardens, running a foodbank and leading worship weekly, while others are balancing Reader duties with working full time and supporting a family.

The stresses on Readers are very varied as a result.

  • Depression and frustration at not being able to minister
    • Through lack of a working team
    • Lack of engagement with the incumbent
    • Ill health or caring for someone with ill health
  • Transition
    • Too many duties across too many churches
    • Being taken for granted
    • Feeling they have very little say in choice of a new incumbent
    • Feeling threatened by not getting a new incumbent.
    • Churchwardens not including them on rotas
  • Balancing Ministry and family life
    • Where a spouse or child is ill mentally or physically
    • Financial pressures and the need to work for a living
  • Faith
    • Even Readers can suffer doubts and anxieties!
    • Mismatches of churchmanship or theology with their local church or new incumbent.
  • An aversion to bureaucracy
    • Finding it difficult to engage with safeguarding training or the requirements of health and safety in the modern church
    • Feeling that “on the Way” for example is something that is being “done to” them.

…and so on. I am quite sure you can think of more!

Chaplains are not just there to mop things up and being consoling when things get tough, they are also have a duty to be proactive and to provide the support before it becomes a big issue where someone has to ask for help. Asking for help is a tough thing to  do and people have to know they need it. Chaplains who get to know their people are invaluable here.

Currently we do not have enough Chaplains to cover all Deaneries and in some Deaneries there are folks who are not Chaplains who would be brilliant at it.

If you know someone who you think would be a brilliant chaplain…..  possibly covering a nearby Deanery if not their own, please do let me know.

If, after prayer, you think your vocation might be to minister to your fellow Readers as Chaplain then please do let me know as well!

If you just want to chat about it, then join us on Zoom on Monday morning or give me a call.


The duties of Local Reader Chaplains might include the following


    • To attend Chaplaincy Meetings (three monthly)
      • to share responsibility for the pastoral care of Readers
      • to discuss issues relating to the wellbeing and care of individual Readers (including those in training and Readers Emeritus)
      • to provide a forum for support, mutual learning and discussion for those providing pastoral care to Readers
    • To be in regular contact with Readers under their care.
      • g. birthday cards, phone calls, email or possibly the occasional newsletter.
    • To consider arranging training or social meetings
    • To foster vocations


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