Latest News – including some important stuff! August 1st 2022

This week I had a lesson in how to use he CMS (Contact Management System) with the very patient Lesley Fusher, which holds all the records for the Diocese. In future all emails from me will come through that system.


The advantage is that only one list will have to be kept up to date.  The disadvantage, at least initially, is that some Readers may drop off the list and some folk who have requested to be kept in touch but are not on the CMS database might miss out.  If that is you, perhaps because you live outside the diocese or because you hung up your blue scarf some years ago, then please let me know and I will make a separate group and forward the emails to you. I have found one already, Chris K.!


Last Week was the meeting of the Warden’s Group which is the key group who look after Readers and promotes Licensed Lay Ministry.


Various topics are discussed from the Annual Reader Service planning to queries from individual Readers and from the Handbook updates to Reader Safeguarding matters.


  • The group decided that we should resurrect the title ‘Reader Emeritus’ for those who no longer officiate with a blue scarf!  Do you know someone who used to be a reader or someone whose license has lapsed? We want to make sure they are on the Readers Emeritus list (if they want to be!) so that they receive prayer and relevant communication.


  • The new reader handbook – what will change? The reader handbook is being rewritten to focus on modern Licensed Lay Ministry and to show that the Diocese is really serious bout promoting and valuing our vocation. It will reflect the requirements for regular ministerial review, safeguarding, the scope of Reader ministry and the evolving committee structures.

More news on this towards the end of the summer when we hope to have a draft to send out for consultation and comment.


  • Deanery Chaplains! Changes to the areas in which they operate and in their duties and responsibilities – there is likely to be a commissioning in October.  Some chaplains (DRSs) have not been able to do very much in their areas, either because of lack of response or because they are too busy themselves. The idea is that we will group deaneries together so that there are a number of Readers and nobody is isolated making it possible to have training, discussions and the occasional social event. It will also give the chaplains a list of folks to pray for and to contact every now and again for pastoral work.  I came up with a few ways of doing this but came unstuck with crossing Arch-deaconries… so back to the drawing board for a week or so!


  • The reader magazine- what happens when the subscription runs out in January? I know some of you will be disappointed that the diocese will no longer be paying the Transforming Ministry Magazine subscription, whereas others will either not mind or not care. When subscriptions run out in January Readers who want to continue with it will be expected to takeout their own subscription. If there is anyone who really wants the magazine but cannot afford the subscription, there will be a limited number of bursaries.


  • I spoke at length with Ruth Trinick (the Bishop’s secretary) and Mel Pomery (our administrator amongst her many other roles) about communications and the following things were put to the wardens group:


  • Licenses to fall due when DBS was due for renewal. The job of sending out renewal notices for both will be Mel’s.
  • License renewal changes to a three year cycle because DBS has moved from 5 years to three in line with safeguarding training. (The DBS and Safeguarding are a CofE requirement)
  • When your DBS runs out (even if that is longer than three years away) your license will need to be renewed then. Readers over the age of 70 will not longer be asked to apply for PTO- Permission to Officiate, they will continue to be licensed like everyone else. Age is no barrier!

A bumper sticker on the Choral Evensong Appreciation Group page on Facebook…. I could not resist sharing this with Martin Adams – it may well appeal to some of you! 

126 CV TRINITY VII 310722 This is a link to Peter Coster’s latest weekly posting on his thoughts for this Sunday- I always look forward to Peter’s contributions- there is always something that sets me thinking.  When we think of Readers as being Community theologians who teach, preach and enable everyday faith, Peter really hits the mark.  The experience of being a Reader is very varied throughout the diocese and where it is difficult to work in a team, perhaps because of transition or because then incumbent is unwell or even, on occasion, unwilling, Readers have to find creative ways of fulfilling their roles. Peter’s weekly emailing is a wonderful example of a creative approach to reaching people.  

Some Readers are using social media creatively to reach people and one of those is John Wallis who uses Facebook to keep his presence and promote conversation. 

In the Reader Service this year Rev Canon Jane Kneebone, our outgoing head of Reader Training will be preaching a her last official contribution to the Readers.  At that service some Readers have been asked to tell us about how they enable everyday faith which should be very interesting, and, I hope, inspiring! 


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