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C of E - Any readers here?

(16 Posts)
MaryBS Sun 30-Apr-06 09:25:49

As of the "licenced Lay Minister" type? Either trained or still undergoing training?

I am applying for Reader training, and am very nervous!

alittlebitshy Sun 30-Apr-06 09:27:26

i'm not but i kind of know the process cos my dh has 2 people going through it at the mo in our church.

how detailed is your training? lots of courses? when do you hear?

scienceteacher Sun 30-Apr-06 09:30:27

Not me, but wanted to wish you well.

Have you already done a fair bit of preaching? I do a summer service and it takes me about two weeks to prepare a 10 minute talk! Not very useful if having to do it regularly.

MaryBS Sun 30-Apr-06 20:27:04

Its a 3 year part time course, lots of essays and studying. Still very early stages of application. The selection conference will be in June or July.

I haven't done any preaching at all! I have led a lenten group (part of Emmaus, if you've come across it), and been involved in confirmation classes and next week I am taking a confirmation class on my own.

Today I stood up at an Ecumenical service and talked personally about what Emmaus meant to me, after a request for volunteers from the local clergy involved in the village (including my own Vicar). To be honest I'm still bemused! When I think of the times I have been on presentation techniques courses, assertiveness courses and the like through work, and made a COMPLETE hash of it, today was an experience. All I can say is God must have taken over because it wasn't shy insecure me that did that presentation! I even had someone tell me I'm a born public speaker (and this is SO unlike me I don't know what to say!)

What it comes down to is this. I feel I have a calling, and despite me telling God that I don't DO public speaking, he has asked me to do this, to apply for training. Well today I did it, spoke in public, shared my faith. And I feel I can do it again..... God works in mysterious ways......

scienceteacher Sun 30-Apr-06 20:47:51

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

MaryBS Sun 30-Apr-06 21:49:27


"Father I place into your hands, the things that I can't do....."

MaryBS Mon 01-May-06 16:56:06

So, alittlebitshy, if your DH has 2 people going through it, is he a Vicar.....?

alittlebitshy Mon 01-May-06 19:20:40

for my sins lol.

they seem to be loving it, although finding it tough going at times fitting in real life and this too......

MaryBS Mon 01-May-06 20:01:08

Thats what I'm worried about, how tough I'd find it. I have 2 young children (aged 4 and 6)

nearlythree Thu 04-May-06 09:31:45

Mary, I hope you don't mind me asking, but why are you going for Reader training rather than NSM? I only ask as when I was considering my vocation I found it was assumed (particularly by lay people) I would go for Readership rather than ordination as I am a woman. From what I've read of the activities you do I would say NSM woudl be ideal for you, and as you would be non-stpiendary you could choose your own hours and type of ministry - teaching, prayer & retreat, parish work, children's work, whatever. I think the selection process is that hardest part, rathre than the training.

Praying that the Spirit is with you whatever you choose.

MaryBS Thu 04-May-06 11:29:29

Probably because I'm ignorant and don't know all the options, or even what the difference would be! Please feel free to enlighten me!

When I was talking to my Vicar about the various ministries, it wasn't actually touched on....

My background is Catholic and I'm a convert to the CofE. I'm 99% certain the thought of my being ordained would freak both my mother (RC) and my husband (non-believer) out!
Traditionally the parishes have had readers - I guess its something I would need to discuss with my Vicar? I know one of the neighbouring parishes refuses to accept ordained women, but I wouldn't be ministering to them

Thank you for your good wishes - I do believe the Spirit is with me (although the flesh is weak!)

nearlythree Thu 04-May-06 15:13:24

Non-stipendary ministry means you would be ordained and can celebrate mass, but you wouldn't be paid. In our diocese there are NSMs who are full-time (our last pp was) and others who have secular full-time jobs and minister in their spare time, and of course a whole range in between. If you did train for ministry you would not be able to do so in your own parish, although you would if your diocese has Local Ordained Ministers, which ours doesn't. (These can only work in their own parish, wheras NSMs can work anywhere).

I would suggest talking to your vicar, but if he is hostile or dismissive I woudl also see if there is a woman priest near you that you could meet with. There are also some boooks on women priests that I found helpful - I can find the titles if you want. I was recommended to spend some time as a volunteer chaplain to test my vocation, either in a hospital or a prison. HTH!

MaryBS Thu 04-May-06 17:19:46


I did do a bit of research, and it was pretty much as I thought. I think I would still go for reader training, at least at first, for many reasons.
1. It would REALLY upset my mum (although she was always disappointed that with 4 sons, none of them became a priest.....)
2. In our diocese it wouldn't be a good time to do it. At the moment, they're trying to poach our vicar and form a 'team of 2 vicars', ministering to about 10 villages round here. I don't think I'd want to be under 'diocesan control'
3. It would freak my DH out, and I need him onside. It would make a difference to him, my being ordained.

As for the vicar being hostile or dismissive, he's a really lovely guy and I couldn't see him reacting like that. In fact, when I think about it, he did discuss ordination and whether I would want to go that way, when I met up with him to discuss becoming a reader.

There is a woman priest in the neighbouring parish, in fact if there were a team of two, she would be the other one.

nearlythree Thu 04-May-06 18:56:05

Fwiw, my dh is very lukewarm in his beliefs at the best of times, and he supported me all the way once he knew how important it was to me. And my mum was really against women priests until it was possible I might be one, and she changed her mind, and now says she is ashamed of how she felt before.

Good luck with the reader training, lay ministry is the lifeblood of the church.

MaryBS Thu 04-May-06 20:37:00

My mother has only just come to terms with me being CofE. Although I'd been going for some time, obviously I couldn't apply for training while I was still (albeit nominally) a Catholic. I was received into the church on Easter Sunday this year, and although she at first said she wouldn't come, she did come in the end, which I was pleased about. I know she still cherished a faint hope that I could get things 'sorted' and come back to the 'one true faith'
Admittedly, until last night, when I enlightened her, she thought 'reader training' meant training to read the lesson! She STILL doesn't know it involved preaching.....

MaryBS Thu 18-May-06 12:20:57

UGH! I HATE waiting to hear! Selection is late June/July, but I wish they'd give me an update on my application and what to expect for selection so that I can prepare.....

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