the 11th May Nigel Adams will be commissioned to the office of
Parish Reader for the Parish of Magheragall. In the following
article I will attempt answer your questions concerning the role
and remit of a parish reader before you ask them.
The development of lay ministry within the Church of Ireland has
bought a much greater involvement by lay people in leading
various aspects of public worship. The revision of our prayer
book has highlighted the nature of such involvement, not just as
supplementary to the role of the clergy but as an essential
expression of the worship of the whole people of God. The scale
of lay involvement in the leading of worship stretches from the
person asked from time to time to read a lesson to the Diocesan
Reader who may regularly preach and conduct the entire service
without assistance. Between the two ends of the scale there is a
place for the role of a Parish Reader i.e. someone trained and
authorised to conduct Morning Prayer, Evening prayer and other
services at the discretion of the rector. The Parish reader can
also assist at Holy Communion.
A person recommended by the Rector for training has to attend a
selection process. The individual is interviewed by the Warden
of Readers, which is Canon George Irwin, and at a later date by
a selection panel which includes the Archdeacon, a psychology, a
lay person, a Reader and the Warden of Readers. This panel makes
a recommendation to the Bishop who makes the final decision as
to whether to accept the candidate for training.
Once selected the candidate joins a training course which is
designed to promote an understanding of the theology of worship
and to develop skills in the conduct of worship. Each individual
selected is required to study recommended reading including
biblical studies, doctrine and church history.
When the candidates have completed the training and the Warden
of Readers is satisfied that the individual is adequately
prepared for this ministry a recommendation is made to the
Bishop who makes the final decision whether or not to allow the
candidate to be licensed as a parish reader. The licence is
issued for five years and is renewable by the Bishop.
I trust this article may answer all the questions parishioners
might have as to the office and the role of a parish reader. If
anyone has any further question please ask me. I am sure you
would join with me in wishing Nigel God�s blessing in this new
role and ensuring him of are prayers, are support and are
encouragement as he, trusting in God�s call, steps into this new
role within the church family.