Who to talk to?
Currently, training for Reader ministry takes place in partnership with the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham. If you have questions about the training, the Director of Reader Training, Canon Doug Chaplin is always happy to talk with you about the training while you are still in the process of discernment.
Contact Doug Chaplin either by email, or by ringing 01905 732817
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.
What do I need to have done before starting the course?
There is no absolute requirement of pre-training courses, but you will find it very helpful if you have done the Bishop’s Certificate course or another foundational course before beginning. You can explore this in your early meeting with the Co-Warden. The only absolute requirement is that you have been recommended for training after the selection process.
I left school at 16, can I still do the course?
A number of people who left school at 16, and who have engaged in no formal education since then, have successfully gone through this course and been licensed as Readers. We explore with each person what additional support might be needed, and help provide it. It is always possible to do the same training as everyone else, but have different ways of testing it, other than academic assignments. However, we encourage everyone to explore their full potential.
I already have a degree in theology, do I need to do the full course?
While we look at each situation and person individually, the course is also about forming people as ministers and not simply educating people in theology. Some people with degrees in theology have done the whole course and found it very rewarding and have been able to make a significant contribution to the group's learning.
How long is the course?
The course is followed over two years, with weekly meetings following the timetable of the school term, and holidays in between. At some point between the beginning of May in your first year, and the end of July, you will complete a short placement in a church which is in a significantly different context to your own.
How is the training delivered?
Most of the training is done in 7 week modules, on one evening a week. For two of those weeks, usually the first and fourth, training is onsite at Queen’s, and students are encouraged to arrive early enough to join in worship and a meal, before the evening learning session begins. The other five weeks are delivered over Zoom. In each year, one module is delivered over three Saturdays, one each term, based at Holland House Retreat House near Evesham.
Am I expected to attend every week?
Yes, but... we recognise that everyone may have a week here and there that they need to miss for family reasons, or health reasons. We ask students to arrange their holidays, as much as possible, to fall outside term time. We try to be flexible when we can, but any sustained period of absence is likely to be a problem.
How much time will I have to give to it?
To some extent this depends on your personal circumstances. We suggest the study and reflection material together with the learning session to take at least fifteen hours of your time in a typical week.
I can't make a weekly evening meeting, can I still be trained for Reader ministry?
At present the weekly evening meeting - in term-time - is the only way we have of delivering the course. This is also the case in the dioceses around us, some of which ask for a longer time commitment. We are actively exploring other options, and the Director of Training would like to know of your situation as part of that process of exploration.