There are around 300 readers in Rochester Diocese. Readers are authorised to preach and to teach, to lead non-Eucharistic worship, to lead Ministry of the Word at the Eucharist and administer the sacraments, to carry out pastoral work, be involved in baptism visiting and preparation, and give Home Communion to the sick using reserved sacrament.  

Readers are also authorised to officiate at funerals, providing they have undertaken additional authorised training and had their licence appropriately endorsed by the Bishop.     

Readers are not authorised to preside at the Eucharist, or to give a blessing or absolution.  They cannot officiate at weddings or baptisms (except, in the case of the latter, in an emergency), nor can they officiate at funerals except as set out in the previous paragraph.

Readers are normally licensed to the Incumbent, and are accountable to the Incumbent to whom they are licensed. Licenses are renewed every 5 years, or until the Reader reaches the age of 70, when they are no longer licensed but instead may be given the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate.

Readers with PTO

Permission to Officiate is a diocesan-wide authorisation and not specific to any parish or benefice.  Readers with PTO are listed in the Online Directory under the Deanery in which they worship and minister, and whilst they are still likely to be a part of their parish ministry team, their PTO is renewable (every 3 years) on the nomination of their Area/Rural Dean. (This is exactly the same as for clergy with PTO.) 

Readers with PTO are no longer required to have a working agreement and are therefore free to do as much or as little as they wish. 

In this diocese an Emeritus Reader is one who has completely retired from Reader Ministry and is no longer active.

Information for Readers moving into Rochester from a different diocese

 Information about Readers with Emeritus - AUG 2017

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